Foreign Mud (Paperback)
Faber & Faber, 9780571240852, 320pp.
Publication Date: May 29, 2008
Foreign Mud is one of the most distinguished of Maurice Collis' works of history. This account of the struggle between the British and Chinese in the Opium War in Canton in the 1830s has a vividness that comes from 20 years of experience in the Far East as a civil servant.
'The story of the Opium War does not lend itself to natural composition; it violates all the established rules of dramatric art; it does not begin at the right moment and it prolongs its end long after the climax has been reached. Collis has handled this intraceable material with surety of touch . . . The result is a self-contained narrative, lucid, balanced and creating a untiy of impression . . . so lucid, so human, so amusing, and so fair.' "Daily Telegraph.