One’s Company – Peter Fleming

In 1933 Peter Fleming (brother of Ian “James Bond” Fleming) blagged funds to travel to China from The Times, The Spectator and his publisher, with the promise to “write a series of articles on China, each one more portentous and comprehensive than the last…..

This is his account of that fascinating time in China’s history – in the far north, Inner Mongolia and Manchuria (Manchukuo) were under Japanese rule and beset by bandits; in the south, the Communists and the Nationalists were battling it out in the Chinese Civil War.

Fleming didn’t make it to the far west – if he had, he’d have found himself in the first East Turkestan Republic. But two years later he was – as he and Ella Maillart travelled overland from China to India, as told in News from Tartary.

In terms of style and commentary, I’d say it’s definitely “of its time” too.

Publisher page: One’s Company: A Journey to China in 1933 – Peter Fleming