[PDF] For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History

ISBN: 0143118749

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Posted on 2017-12-19, by luongquocchinh.

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Author: Sarah Rose | Publisher: Penguin Books | Category: History | Language: English | Page: 272 | ISBN: 0143118749 | ISBN13: 9780143118749 |

Description: Sarah Rose has rescued the aptly named Robert Fortune from the footnotes of Victorian obscurity and written an engrossing story explaining one of the great heists of history: how the British stole tea plants from China and successfully transplanted them in India. It's a spy story for gardeners in which daring-do and botany coexist on every page. Robert Fortune was the son of a Scottish farm worker. Lacking the means to get a formal education, Fortune learned his skills from practical apprenticeship and obtained a post at the Royal Horticultural Society garden at Chiswick. His skill at cultivating rare blooms from the Orient in hothouses earned him a ticket to China at the end of the First Opium War. His mandate was to collect rare plants and study the botany of China. He almost died there. As he lay gravely ill, the Chinese junk he was on was attacked by pirates. Fortune roused, rushed up on deck and organized a successful defense. The incident illustrates his courage and resource when confronted by adversity. On his return to London in 1847, he wrote a book about his experiences in China that became a bestseller. When the British East India Company looked around for a man capable of penetrating into the interior of China and obtaining plant specimens and seeds for purposed tea plantations in India, Fortune was the man they turned to. This is a fascinating book on many fronts. As a story of corporate espionage, it touches on issues of trade and economics that are controversial today. The technology used to bring viable seeds and plants to India is astounding when one considers that sailing ships were the transportation means of that era. A spotlight is put on the opium trade, an issue that still resonates. Sarah Rose writes with a lively, clear style that makes this a hard book to put down. I recommend this book to historians, tea drinkers, economists, gardeners and corporate policy makers. Brew up a cup and enjoy!

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