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Books about old China trade or maritime fur trade?

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Books about old China trade or maritime fur trade?

Postby matelot » Thu April 20th, 2017, 7:51 pm

Hello everyone, I am looking for any suggestions for historical fiction set during first half of the 19th century, which would deal with either of these two topics:
1) The old China trade (e.g. western opium trafficking in Canton and Hong Kong) and the Opium Wars. I've enjoyed the novel Taipan if anyone has read that, and I heard there's a novel by an Indian author called River of Smoke, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet.
2) The maritime fur trade in the Pacific-Northwest of America (which was linked to the export of furs to China during the period). I have not heard of any novels around this setting yet.

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Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Books about old China trade or maritime fur trade?

Postby Misfit » Thu April 20th, 2017, 11:19 pm

Beyond the Shining Mountains by Doris Shannon, set in Canada and it takes a while to get to Western Canada. I recall there's a fort and I believe there was some fur trading going on.
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...is the only place I want to be

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Currently reading: A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee & The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau (Pigeonhole)
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favorite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Re: Books about old China trade or maritime fur trade?

Postby Vanessa » Fri April 21st, 2017, 11:06 am

The author of River of Smoke is is Amitav Ghosh. I've read Sea of Poppies by the same author and really enjoyed it. Sea of Poppies is the first in the 'Ibis' trilogy, River of Smoke being the second and Flood of Fire being the third.

currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Re: Books about old China trade or maritime fur trade?

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Fri April 21st, 2017, 10:03 pm

IIRC, I read a book by Ivan Doig that dealt with the Alaskan fur trade. The Sea Runners. Here's the synopsis from his site:
In 1853, in the farthest outpost of the Czar's empire, four Scandinavian indentured servants—seven-year men no better off than slaves—resolve to escape from Russian Alaska. They steal an Indian canoe and point it south toward Astoria, in Oregon, twelve hundred miles away.

This novel of audacity is based on a historical incident discovered by the author, and transformed by his imagination into a sustained sweep of adventure. The four sea runners must weather the worst the ill-named Pacific can throw at them, and must weather their own fierce squalls, too, as day upon day, guided as much by instinct and determination as by map, they paddle through the magnificent maze of the Northwest Coast toward the mouth of the Columbia River.


Re: Books about old China trade or maritime fur trade?

Postby matelot » Mon April 24th, 2017, 1:31 pm

Thanks for your suggestions, I will look those up.

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