When colonial Britain seized Hong Kong from China in the mid-19th Century, the government of the day complained that it was a ‘barren rock with nary a house on it.’ Since then, Hong Kong’s skyline has become a glittering cityscape of tall buildings, stunning views, hustle, bustle, ships trade, deal-making and, in past year or so, high politics as China imposes more of its values on Hong Kong’s free-wheeling society. Author, Vaudine England, has written Fortune’s Bazaar, The Making of Hong Kong, a captivating account of how this dazzling city came into being, stamping its own, indestructible identity on whichever far away government, whether London, Beijing or Tokyo, chose to control it.
Vaudine England takes us deep into the real community that created this incredible place, the melting pot of European and Asian traders who intermarried, had affairs with wild, fast lives filled with dreams where fortunes were made and lost in moments. Many of Hong Kong's most influential figures were neither British nor Chinese, but Malay, Indian, Jewish, Armenian, Parsi, Portuguese, Eurasian or simply, Hong Kongers. These were the opium-traders who built synagogues or churches, ship-owners carrying gold-rush migrants, property tycoons, and more. Come and join Humphrey Hawksley and Vaudine England for a vivid and exciting conversation about the creation of one of the world’s greatest cities. 12.00 UK time, May 25th 2023.