Called back from his honeymoon by an urgent telegram from the New York Times, our author left for San Francisco on 9th July 1900, from where he sailed for China to join the eight-nation alliance mounting what was termed the "China Relief Expedition." There is no written material relevant for this book. Instead, we have only a collection of notes, diary entries, photographs and despatches covering the four weeks spent in China.
For such an experienced, committed and prolific writer, this is something of a surprise, but the clues lie in the tenor of the words that he uses to describe the horror, the brutality and the sheer trauma of his experiences; and here lies the reason why our author penned no words for publication. In a note describing his final hours in the city, together with a group of three fellow correspondents, he wrote; "not one of us had ever known such an assault on the senses; not one of us had ever been exposed to such obscene visions of reality."
Book 4 of the Wars and Words series