The Portuguese were the first Europeans to forge a maritime route from Europe to Asia, arriving on the China coast in 1513, and through centuries of sustained settlement in Macao, the history of the world would be changed like never before.
Before Hong Kong came into being, Macao was the sole maritime gateway for Europe in China. Volume One provides a description of how the early Portuguese settled in China, the influences that they brought, and the transformations that followed. The narrative extends from early settlement through the period of the Canton trade to the Anglo-Chinese War, the cession of Hong Kong to Britain and the early decades of Hong Kong - ending more or less at the beginning of the 20th century.
First published in 1944, this latest edition contains additions and revisions following intensive research delving into the Braga Manuscript Collection at the National Library of Australia, and the discovery of factual and typographical errors contained in previous publications.
The original work was a collaborative effort by José Pedro Braga (a direct descendent of the Portuguese pioneers that helped established Hong Kong) and his son Jack Braga (renowned Macao historian). Told largely from a Hong Kong Portuguese perspective, it is an indispensable study of the contribution of the Portuguese community in Hong Kong and Macao in areas such as trade and commerce. East-West understanding, government administration, education and botany. The vast canvas painted by José Pedro Braga is undeniably a part of the rich complex tapestry of modern Chinese history - in particular that of Hong Kong and Macao. It deserves fair recognition for as China undertakes a leading role in this "Asian century", an appreciation of the contribution of the Portuguese community enriches our understanding of how far China has travelled since those early beginnings.