Monday, 3 November 2008

The Society of Harmonious Fists

Well I haven't tried one of these meme things before, but a combination of idle blog-browsing, and the desire for a quick and easy post led me to steal this stolen meme from Billy.

‘Grab the nearest book. Open the book to page 56. Find the fifth sentence. Post the text of the next two to five sentences in your journal/blog along with these instructions. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.'

My very nearest book, on the shelf just to the right was The Penguin Dictionary of Modern History.

‘With the connivance of the Government and the active support of the Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi (q.v.), young Chinese enrolled in a secret organisation whose name was translated as ‘The Society of Harmonious Fists’, popularly named the ‘Boxers’. Attacks on converts to Christianity, on missionaries, and on workers on foreign-controlled railways made the European Powers decide to take measures to safeguard their nationals. When reinforcements under Admiral Seymour tried to reach the capital, Peking, they were fired on by the forts at Taku. A Boxer outbreak at once occurred in Peking itself'

I found this strangely satisfying.