Photo exhibition shows life in China in 1870s

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A remarkable set of photographs portraying life in China in the late Qing Dynasty is to go on public display for the first time.

Taken between 1870 and 1871 by the Scottish photographer John "China" Thomson, the images reveal with often startling intimacy a cast of characters from orphans and street gamblers, to beautiful peasant girls and their high-born ladies.

Hailed as a pioneer of photojournalism, Thomson spent two years travelling more than 5,000 miles in pursuit of the images that historians say are unique in their empathy towards their subjects.

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