It was going to be a book about a species of small, badly designed deer called Milu. That was how it was sold to his publisher, anyway. But the more Robert Twigger tried to write this fascinating tale of missionaries, emperors and unreasonably cute, rare animals, the more he was distracted by other fascinating subjects.
Why the Chinese forgot how to make clocks, for instance. Or Edmund Backhouse, secret agent, swindler and raging Victorian pervert. And, most unusual and interesting of all, the existence of the Extinction Club, a band of maniacs dedicated to finishing off endangered species - personally . . .