For All the Tea in China

By Sarah Rose
(Viking Adult, Hardcover, 9780670021529, 272pp.)

Publication Date: March 18, 2010

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Description

A dramatic historical narrative of the man who stole the secret of tea from China

In 1848, the British East India Company, having lost its monopoly on the tea trade, engaged Robert Fortune, a Scottish gardener, botanist, and plant hunter, to make a clandestine trip into the interior of China—territory forbidden to foreigners—to steal the closely guarded secrets of tea horticulture and manufacturing. For All the Tea in China is the remarkable account of Fortune's journeys into China—a thrilling narrative that combines history, geography, botany, natural science, and old-fashioned adventure.

Disguised in Mandarin robes, Fortune ventured deep into the country, confronting pirates, hostile climate, and his own untrustworthy men as he made his way to the epicenter of tea production, the remote Wu Yi Shan hills. One of the most daring acts of corporate espionage in history, Fortune's pursuit of China's ancient secret makes for a classic nineteenth-century adventure tale, one in which the fate of empires hinges on the feats of one extraordinary man.




NPR
Sunday, Mar 28, 2010

Sarah Rose's For All the Tea in China tells the story of how Britain hijacked control of the 19th century tea trade by transplanting production of the popular drink to India. More at NPR.org

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