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Distributed for Hong Kong University Press

Sir Robert Ho Tung

Public Figure, Private Man

A nuanced perspective on Sir Robert Ho Tung, Hong Kong philanthropist.

Sir Robert Ho Tung (1862–1954) is a compelling figure in Hong Kong history. He is regularly portrayed as the colony’s greatest philanthropist and wealthiest man of his day, the first Chinese to live on the Peak, and, at the end of his life, the “Grand Old Man of Hong Kong.” The illegitimate son of a Chinese mother and European father, he was highly sensitive about his mixed heritage, although his success was driven as much by his entrepreneurial talents as by his being Eurasian. This book shows him in all his immense variety—financial wizard, husband and lover, patriarch of a large family, loyal British subject but also, paradoxically, Chinese patriot. China’s president Yuan Shikai awarded him the Order of the Excellent Crop, and King George V knighted him. May Holdsworth’s thoughtful and deftly written account of his life is the first full-length biography in English. Given unique and unprecedented access to family and personal papers, including letters, diaries, notes, and photographs, she offers a nuanced perspective on a public but also a private man. Her book will be a rich resource for historians and readers interested in the men and women who played a key part in the shaping of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Hong Kong.

220 pages | 48 halftones | 6 x 9

Biography and Letters

History: Asian History

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Table of Contents

1. Longevity
2. A Beginning in the East
3. Compradore
4. Family
5. The Public Man
6. In Search of a Cause
7. Sons and Heirs
8. Riding the Storm
9. Link between East and West
Family Trees
Glossary of Chinese Names
Sources and Bibliography

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