Tai-Pan - Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 1 Summary

The novel begins with the British taking possession of the island of Hong Kong. This is the era of the European and British traders and how they began to penetrate the Chinese mainland. The main character of the novel, Dirk Struan, is the well-known and well-respected Tai-Pan of The Noble House. This is the largest of the trading companies, and its leader has dreams of making Hong Kong a strong British concern and base of operations for the traders: "The island was Hong Kong. Thirty square miles of mountainous stone on the north lip of the huge Pearl River in South China. A thousand yards off the mainland. Inhospitable. Unfertile. Uninhabited except for a tiny fishing village on the south side. Squarely in the path of the monstrous storms that yearly exploded from the Pacific. Bordered on the east and on the west by dangerous shoals and...

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This section contains 1,769 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Tai-Pan Study Guide
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