Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Women of Yankee Mandarin – the Decorous and the Disaffected

The women of Yankee Mandarin contrast dramatically, especially the two of this post, Elizabeth and Ch’ang-mei. Each is fashionable and elite in her place and time, but both are discontent with their circumstances, resentful of their treatment by men, and of … Continue reading

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Chinese Junks and Portuguese Lorchas – Old and New

Wenchow Fisher from Donnely The descriptions of mid-19th century Chinese junks, Portuguese lorchas,  and other native vessels that merit first billing in Yankee Mandarin are based primarily on more recent works by Worcester, Donnely, and Needham. Worcester’s 1971 The Junks and Sampans of the … Continue reading

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Questioning China’s “5,000 years” master trope (repost from Isham Cook)

“Isham Cook” is a blog we have started following – Isham is the pen name of an American writer based in China for seventeen years, a former teacher of literature and an essayist with catholic interests in a wide variety of subjects. Isham writes “by ‘essay’ I … Continue reading

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Taiwan Street Theater Circa 1966

Street theater in Taiwan back in 1966 was a neighborhood affair. On holidays the local temples hired theatrical troups like this one, the 正新義樂劇團, to put on classical operas like Peach Blossom Fan 桃花扇 or Madam White Snake 白蛇傳. It … Continue reading

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Arion – he ran like the wind and spoke in Greek

Arion was the gray Arab loaned to Fletcher Thorson Wood in Shanghai by Artemis Fuller of H. Fogg & Company, who said Arion was “a distinguished old gentleman, not given to flights of fancy.” There is no record of FTW … Continue reading

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Weapons of the Ever Victorious Army

This question was posted on the China History Forum: “The Ever Victorious Army was the Qing army that helped put down the Taiping and Nein Rebellions and It was the first Chinese army which was trained in European tactics. My question is, … Continue reading

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Foreigners awarded official rank in Late Imperial China

From the China History Forum this question: Does anyone know of instances where a foreigner (westerner or an Asian not under imperial authority) was awarded or earned an official rank?   My reply: Frederick Townsend Ward of the Ever Victorious … Continue reading

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Remember the gunboat San Pablo?

Remember the San Pablo, the 1920s era steam gunboat from the film The Sand Pebbles? Here’s a short video about her. San Pablo featurette      Toward the bottom of the featurette webpage it says “Click here to view this video…”. … Continue reading

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Novels About China: Guest Post at Historical Tapestry

From Marg at Historical Tapestry: “Today, I am thrilled to introduce James Lande from Old China Books to give us a fantastically comprehensive list of suggested reading about China!” Historical Tapestry invited James to guest post with a discussion of historical novels … Continue reading

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Coming Attractions – Future Posts in the Writer’s Corner

Here is a list of articles planned for the coming months, all related in one way or another to the narrative of Yankee Mandarin, and intended to call your attention to a variety of interesting topics that appear in the novel. For a … Continue reading

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