Published in 1866, this two-volume work is a passionate account of the momentous Taiping Rebellion of 1850–64, which spread across southern China, involving the death of around 20 million people. An English officer and supporter of the rebels, Augustus Frederick Lindley (1840–73) actively fought for them and believed devotedly in their cause. Led by Christian convert Hong Xiuquan, they rose up against the ruling Qing dynasty in an attempt to force social, commercial and religious reforms, but were eventually brutally crushed with the aid of British and French forces. Prior to his death at the age of only thirty-three, Lindley produced this accomplished work of historical exposition and anti-imperialism. Volume 1 examines Chinese society and the tyrannical imperial rule; the origin, outbreak, incidents and atrocities of the conflict; and Lindley's own role and experiences as trainer, advisor and soldier.