Club Meeting with Speaker

Wed, Feb 28th 2024 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Robin Masefield will talk about Irish Administration in China in the 19th Centure

Robin Masefield will give a talk about his latest book, published by Queen’s University Belfast, The world administered by Irishmen: The Life and Times of Robert Hart and Contemporary Irish in East Asia.

While the book’s initial focus is on the Chinese Maritime Customs Service, and its head Sir Robert Hart, arguably the most influential Westerner in China, it brings together a treasure trove of other Irish people in East Asia - a nurse from Roscommon, a doctor from Cork, a diplomat from Meath, Hong Kong governors from Dublin, railway engineers and many more. Using first-hand accounts and over 300 images, the book vividly tells the stories of scores of Irish men and women and the contribution they made to developing relations with China, Japan and Korea in the 19th century.

Robin’s premise is that it is vital to learn about the past if we are to understand the present and plan for the future.

He lived in Hong Kong for three years in the 1980s and then for over 25 years in Northern Ireland. He has also published a number of other books, mostly historical.

The World Administered by Irishmen can be obtained at a cost of £20 online at

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