2018 a memorable year for some things By Bradley Winterton Giselle, one of HBSO's most successful ballets in 2018 – PHOTO: COURTESY OF HBSO HCMC – All in all, 2018 was a year that brought considerable pleasure, to me at least. Most satisfying was having two letters published by the UK's most prestigious literary weekly, the Times Literary Supplement (TLS). Their subject was the classic American novelist Henry James as he appeared in a book by Edmund Trelawny Backhouse, an Englishman who lived in Beijing from 1898 to 1944, the year of his death. Backhouse involved himself in many things, but his name was blackened by the publication in 1977 of a book, Hermit of Peking , by the Oxford historian High Trevor-Roper, which made him out to be a liar on a monumental scale. My first letter, published on October 12, urged the publication of Backhouse's memoir The Dead Past , dealing with the years before he went to China. His second volume of memoirs, Decadence Mandchoue , was issued in a magnificent edition by Earnshaw Books in Hong Kong in 2011. Two correspondents replied to my letter, both of them citing Trevor-Roper and dismissing Backhouse's credibility in its… Read full this story
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