For China and the World: Robert Hart

Robert A Bickers (Producer), Jeremy Routledge (Producer)

Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products


Irishman Sir Robert Hart was the Inspector General of China’s Imperial Maritime Customs from 1863 to 1911. An employee of China’s ruling Qing dynasty, he played a crucial role in the economic development of the country and in its interaction with foreign powers. He was, professionally, a man who bridged two worlds, British and Chinese, and he also did so privately. Hart had two families: his wife Hester and their three children, but also, from an earlier relationship with a Chinese woman, Ayao, three children whom Hart had educated in Britain. For China and The World explores the personal and political conflicts that motivated one of the most important foreign figures in Chinese history.

“If you want to understand the British story in China, you have to understand Robert Hart's contribution”
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherBritish Inter-university China Centre
Media of outputDVD
Size31 mins
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2014
EventFor China and the World: English premiere - British Academy, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 Jun 201412 Jun 2014


  • Robert Hart
  • China
  • British Inter-university China Centre
  • Modern Chinese History
  • Chinese Maritime Customs Service


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