From the Editors / Hidden Treasure

Hidden Treasure

Book coverCity of Lingering Splendor: A Frank Account of Old Peking’s Exotic Pleasures by John Blofeld

On a stroll through the streets of Peking in 1934 you might meet beautiful courtesans, Confucian scholars, Tsarist refugees, aging palace eunuchs, teenage opium addicts, Taoist adepts or Buddhist monks. You might even run into Shura, the White-Russian hermaphrodite. The young John Blofeld met them all in the three years he spent imbibing the charms of the great city at the very end of the imperial era—years before he became one of the twentieth century’s most esteemed figures in Asian Studies. Reading this book is like traveling in time to an enchanted, mysterious, seedy, beautiful—and vanished—world.

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