The year is 1917. The self-acclaimed Emperor of China, Yuan Shikai, died the previous year and Sun Yat-sen returns from exile to form a new Nationalist government. China declares war with Germany, in support of the Western efforts in Europe—but China itself is on the brink of descending into feuding factions, and eventually its own civil war. For the moment, though, all is calm, and life goes on in the Middle Kingdom much as it has for thousands of years.Tourists must first travel by steamer to British Hong Kong—a journey of some two weeks from North America and up to a month from London. China has yet to establish its first tourism agency, so the intrepid visitor must rely Archie Bell’s book to make his or her way around.And what a trip Bell takes us on! From Hong Kong to Canton, Macau, Shanghai, Hangzhou and on to Peking where we tour the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. And further to Korea, the Hermit Kingdom, then under Japanese rule. The Spell of China is truly a trip back in time; a spellbinding journey for the modern tourist, amateur historian and armchair traveller alike.