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I’m starting to enjoy this.

Concealed in the murky depths of your cuppa is nothing less than a crucial phase in the rise of the British Empire. If the secret of producing tea could be wrested from the grip of the Chinese Emperor, and the plant itself transplanted to the foothills of the Himalayas in the British Raj, vast revenues would follow and British imperial dominance in the Far East would be incontestable. Enter Robert Fortune, botanist and plant-hunter extraordinaire – as diligent, daring and enterprising a Victorian hero as one could wish for.

Sarah Rose tells a stirring tale of individual derring-do and the fate of nations.