I AM INDEBTED once again to my husband, Michael, for his tremendous help and encouragement throughout, for his work on concept and context, and his help with research and editing. I am also grateful to him for trudging with me from one end of Beijing to another during some hot and dusty August days as we looked for clues to the past.
I am most grateful to George Gibson, president and publisher of Walker & Company, for his encouragement and support, not only throughout the extensive revisions and additions to this American edition of the book but also in the development of my current project on the sinking of the Lusitania. I want to thank his talented colleagues at Walker, especially Ivy Hamlin, for her cheerful advice on all aspects of logistics, and Marlene Tungseth, for her meticulous and perceptive work. I am also grateful to my editor, Chris Carduff, for his work on this and all my American publications. His penetrating comments and wise advice, highlighting areas of my text requiring modification or clarification, have proved invaluable to me.
This book is about the human experience of living through the Boxer rising. It could not have been written without the help and generosity of many people and organizations. I want to thank the staff of the London Library and the staff of the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, in particular Peter Allmond, for tracking down many, sometimes very obscure, published sources; the staff of the British Library, and in particular Dr. Frances Wood and Graham Hutt, for their help with unpublished sources and for showing me some fascinating Boxer posters; Emily Tarrant for her guidance through the Special Collections of the School of Oriental and African Studies ( SOAS), University of London; and John Montgomery, Librarian of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies in London, for Sir Claude MacDonald's article on the defense of the legations from the institute's journal. I am also grateful to the National Army Museum in Chelsea for allowing me access to their archives, in particular to the diary of Captain Francis Poole; to the National Maritime Museum for allowing me to consult Earl Beatty's papers; to the Bodleian Library for permission to quote from the Backhouse memoirs; and to the Council for World Mission for permission to quote from the papers of the London Missionary Society. I am most grateful to Peter Trowell for the loan of letters written by his grandmother Mabel Read, a Baptist missionary in northern China in 1900.