On this day, back in 1857, the Second Opium War was started when Britain and France declared war on the Qing Dynasty of China after it refused to open its ports and legalize the opium trade. The aftermath set the stage for the next century and a half of relations between China and the UK, culminating in the return of Hong Kong to Communist China in July 1997.
Coincidentally, Son of Heaven has just arrived in hardcover. Go get it. And if you’re in London, make it a point to head out for the launch party! If you’re in the states, you can import it from Amazon UK here.