Lord of Thunder, Mother of Lightning

Maybe I've been working with low cost 19th century woodblock editions of books for too long, but the truth is that I love their illustrations, probably much more than virtuoso paintings from the same era. Here, again from the Illustrated Stories of Twenty Four Filial Women , 1872 edition, are the Lord of Thunder (雷公)…Read more Lord of Thunder, Mother of Lightning

Ningbo, China: Tianyi ge

Tianyi Ge is the oldest extant library in China. It is also walking distance from Popo's house, which meant that one afternoon, we ventured there despite the chilly rain. The complex is beautiful. Originally built in the mid-16th century, the library then housed over 50,000 volumes. Over the centuries, the collection diminished. By the 20th…Read more Ningbo, China: Tianyi ge

Pray consult the story related in the following chapter

Sixty-three years ago, David Tod Roy was, as the New York Times puts it, "a 16-year-old American missionary kid looking for a dirty book" at a used book store in Nanjing, China. The book? The Chin P'ing Mei (金瓶梅), a 100-chapter vernacular novel from 16th century China. It relates the intricate details of daily life…Read more Pray consult the story related in the following chapter