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China Under the Empress Dowager
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J.O.P. Bland (1863-1945) arrived in Shanghai in 1883, and worked for the British-run Chinese Imperial Maritime Customs before going on to serve as China correspondent for the London Times from 1897 until he left China in 1910. He was once described by New York Times as the best-informed Westerner on China in the world. Sir Edmund Backhouse (1873-1944) arrived in Peking in 1898 and quickly became the city's most respected translator, working for both the British Foreign Service and the London Times correspondent George Morrison.

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A document more illuminating than perhaps any that has come out of China.A" -London Times Probably no such collection of Chinese documents has ever before been given to the world, or one that better reflects the realities of Chinese official life.A" -Sidney G. P. Coryn, New York Times

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