For all the tea in China How England stole the world's favorite drink and changed history
Book - 2010
Rose's remarkable account follows the journey of Robert Fortune, a Scottish gardener, who was deployed by the British East India Company to steal China's tea secrets in 1848. This thrilling narrative combines history, geography, and old-fashioned adventure.
New York :
- Item Description
- Originally published: London : Hutchinson, 2009, with title For all the tea in China : espionage, empire, and the secret formula for the world's favourite drink.
- Physical Description
- x, 261 p. ; 22 cm
- Includes bibliographical references (p. -254) and index.
- Main Author
*Starred Review* Through the adventures of Robert Fortune, a nineteenth-century plant hunter, the reader learns a delicious brew of information on the history of tea cultivation and consumption in the Western world. Rose's book is certain to draw the attention of history buffs, foodies, avid travel-literature fans, followers of popular science, and perhaps even business-interest book consumers as she reconstructs what she posits as the "greatest theft of trade secrets in the history of mankind." Tea was grown in China. Great Britain wanted tea. But trying to trade with the Celestial Empire was like pulling teeth. So the East India Company sent hunter Fortune, undercover (dressed in mandarin robes), to penetrate the depths of China and surreptitiously gather—steal, in other words—seeds and young plants and send them to India, where they would flourish in soil that was part of the British Empire. The author's bold conclusion to this remarkably riveting tale is that Fortune's "actions would today be described as industrial espionage," but nevertheless he "changeed the fate of nations." Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.
An account of mid-19th-century botanist Robert Fortune's mission to travel to China's remote Wu Yi Shan hills to steal closely guarded secrets of tea horticulture and manufacturing describes his encounters with pirates, threatening weather and unethical people. A first book.Review by Publisher Summary 2
An account of mid-19th-century botanist Robert Fortune's mission to travel to China's remote Wu Yi Shan hills to steal closely guarded secrets of tea horticulture and manufacturing describes his encounters with pirates, threatening weather, and unethicalpeople.Review by Publisher Summary 3
Rose's remarkable account follows the journey of Robert Fortune, a Scottish gardener, who was deployed by the British East India Company to steal China's tea secrets in 1848. This thrilling narrative combines history, geography, and old-fashioned adventure.Review by Publisher Summary 4
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.