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From 1919 to 1924, Reginald F. Johnston, a British colonial official, scholar, writer and great admirer of Chinese culture, served as tutor and adviser to the last emperor of China. The emperor P'u-i had abdicated his throne in 1912. However, in order to ensure a rapid and peaceful transfer of authority, he was allowed to retain his title and was permitted to remain in residence in the Forbidden City in Peking, which he did until the winter of 1924. This book, first published in 1934, is Johnston's account of that period, during which he was uniquely placed to observe the twilight years of the Ch'ing dynasty. This edition is now reprinted with the addition of an Introduction by Pamela Atwell, author of British Mandarins and Chinese Reformers: The British Administration of Weihaiwei (1989-39) and the Territory's Return to Chinese Rule.