The Great Wall in 50 Objects

The Great Wall in 50 Objects

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The culmination of a lifetime's field work and research, William Lindesay selects fifty artefacts from around the world to tell the story of the Great Wall from the second century BC to the late-twentieth century. Abraham Ortelius' pioneering world atlas, the unexpected origins of 'wolf smoke', the proliferation of the blunderbuss in the fifteenth century Great Wall theatre of war, even Kafka's classic short story 'At the Building of the Great Wall' are some of the unique objects that were shaped by China's most famous national landmark. Enhanced by stories of their discovery, and those of their modern-day keepers, The Great Wall in 50 Objects is a personal and historical exploration of a world wonder. 'William Lindesay has a knack for approaching the iconic Great Wall of China in ways that are creative, idiosyncratic, and deeply personal . . . He has succeeded again with The Great Wall in 50 Objects.' Peter Hessler, author of River Town and Oracle Bones 'William Lindesay shows us the Wall in a completely new light by looking at the smaller objects that make up its history . . . Through these objects we feel the Great Wall transform from architecture into a living part of the history and culture of China.' Jack Weatherford, author of Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World 'For years, Lindesay has hiked and studied the Great Wall with exceptional passion. To him, it seems, the Great Wall is not a mere structure, a political icon, or a cultural curiosity, but a treasure trove of stories.' Jaime FlorCruz, former Beijing bureau chief of Time magazine and CNN 'If you are going to China, and intend to see the Great Wall (or even if, unwisely, you don't), take this book on the plane with you, and absorb as many of its intriguing nuggets of Wall-lore and China-lore as you can - it will make your visit infinitely richer.' Prof. Christopher Cullen, Emeritus Director, Needham Research Institute, Cambridge 'William Lindesay lives and breathes Great Wall history and he exudes it with an engaging passion.' Mike Loades, author of Swords and Swordsmen 'Lindesay presents a coherent and highly informative account of the geography, history, and material culture of China's Great Wall. His compelling and well-written account is rich in profound and often quite unexpected insights.' Lothar von Falkenhausen, Professor of Chinese Archaeology and Art History, UCLA 'China's Great Wall is both a monument and a mystery, an almost magical construction mixing beauty and terror. No better book panders to our fascination with its grandeur and the details of its construction. William Lindesay answers our wish to get closer to the people who built it and lived with it by revealing so many aspects of the Wall, taking us a journey across the centuries and its vast length.' Jasper Becker, author of City of Heavenly Tranquility andHungry Ghosts: Mao's Secret FamineRoof guardians were believed to keep the watchtowers safe, along with all the men to be garrisoned in them. ... One of the earliest references to rooftile ornaments is found in an eleventhcentury Song Dynasty construction manual, Yingzaoanbsp;...

Title:The Great Wall in 50 Objects
Author:William Lindesay
Publisher:Penguin UK - 2015-11-16


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