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The Great Wall in 50 objects / William Lindesay.

By: Lindesay, William [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: [Melbourne, Victoria] : Viking, an imprint of Penguin Books, 2015Description: 401 pages, 12 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some colour), maps ; 23 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780734310484; 073431048X.Subject(s): Art objects, Chinese | Great Wall of China (China) -- HistoryDDC classification: 951
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Non-Fiction Davis (Central) Library
Non-Fiction
Non-Fiction 951 LIN 1 Available

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

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

Includes bibliographical references and index.

11 27 37 68 82 96

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Foreword (p. 1)
  • Introduction (p. 5)
  • Maps (p. 13)
  • Part 1 Survey: Eight Keys (p. 17)
  • Objects from various dates
  • 1 On Reaching Europe (p. 19)
  • Abraham Ortelius' Theatre of the World atlas
  • 2 A Place of No Return (p. 25)
  • Meng Jiangnüs Endless Search for her Husband woodblock print
  • 3 The Enemy at First Sight (p. 31)
  • Bronze face of a Xiongnu warrior
  • 4 Observing a Ceasefire (p. 36)
  • Painting of a Mongol archer
  • 5 Just Add Water (p. 41)
  • Pottery sherds from the desert floor
  • 6 Prefabrication (p. 46)
  • An inscribed brick from the Ming Wall
  • 7 Accelerated Warfare (p. 51)
  • Bronze mirror showing cavalry
  • Decisive Advantage (p. 56)
  • A nomadic composite bow
  • Part 2 Foundations (p. 63)
  • Objects from the third century BC to AD 221
  • 9 The Iron Age Factor (p. 65)
  • Mould for casting iron chisels
  • 10 Sure Footing (p. 71)
  • A bronze stirrup
  • 11 An Eyewitness Report (p. 76)
  • Sima Qian's 'Records of the Grand Historian'
  • 12 Writers and Fighters (p. 82)
  • Polyhedral wooden record
  • 13 Past Glories (p. 88)
  • 'Map of China and the Barbarian Lands' stele rubbing
  • 14 Charting Archaeology (p. 96)
  • Stein's sketch map of the Han Wall
  • 15 Alarms from the North (p. 103)
  • Wooden records bearing signalling instructions
  • 16 A Han-Hun Wedding (p. 109)
  • Lady Wang Travels Beyond the Wall marriage print
  • 17 Mechanical Advantage (p. 116)
  • Trigger mechanism of a crossbow
  • Part 3 Intrusions (p. 123)
  • Objects from AD 221 to 1368
  • 18 Becoming Chinese (p. 125)
  • Figurine of an armoured horse and rider
  • 19 The Gap Years (p. 131)
  • Tri-coloured glaze figurine of a camel
  • 20 Millennium Man (p. 136)
  • Silver funerary mask of a Qidan nobleman
  • 21 The 75, 15, 10 Formula (p. 141)
  • A pottery hand grenade
  • 22 Mapping History (p. 146)
  • 'Handy Maps of the Past Dynasties, Chronologically Organised'
  • 23 Harnessing Sun and Wind (p. 152)
  • Gold-tipped trident of a spirit banner
  • 24 Sharpshooters (p. 160)
  • Mongol arrowheads
  • 25 Cavalry Wear (p. 165)
  • Mongol armour
  • 26 Horsepower (p. 170)
  • The Mongolian horse
  • Part 4 Core (p. 177)
  • Objects from 1368 to 1644
  • 27 Frontier Palace (p. 179)
  • Silk painting of the Imperial City
  • 28 Into Thin Air (p. 185)
  • The wolf smoke alarm signal
  • 29 A Calamitous Sortie (p. 191)
  • Iron gate lock
  • 30 Point and Shoot (p. 196)
  • A blunderbuss
  • 31 The Gift of Horses (p. 203)
  • 'Presenting Horses' scroll painting on silk
  • 32 Sixteenth Century Typos (p. 212)
  • Bluestone stele bearing construction records
  • 33 Stone Age Weapons (p. 221)
  • Gunpowder rock bombs
  • 34 A Bird's Eye View (p. 230)
  • Fired-clay roof guardian
  • 35 History In Situ (p. 238)
  • Ink rubbing of a stele
  • 36 Relic of a Grand Commander (p. 246)
  • Qi Jiguang's steel sabre
  • 37 View from the High Command (p. 253)
  • 'Map of the Nine Border Regions'
  • 38 A Long Strip of Wall (p. 262)
  • 'Plans of the Jizhen Commandery'
  • 39 Globalisation (p. 269)
  • Cornelis de Jode's 'new' world map
  • 40 Moving Targets (p. 276)
  • Foreign-style 'Border Pacification Cannon'
  • 41 The Last Emperor (p. 283)
  • Admonition decree from the Board of War
  • Part 5 Ruins (p. 291)
  • Objects from 1644 to 1987
  • 42 Science Convert (p. 293)
  • 'The Jesuit Atlas of Kangxi's Realm'
  • 43 In Great Detail (p. 302)
  • Captain Parish's technical drawings
  • 44 New Convoys (p. 309)
  • Photo of the Beijing to Paris inaugural car rally
  • 45 A Milestone Journey (p. 315)
  • The Great Wall of China by William Edgar Geil
  • 46 Building Fiction (p. 323)
  • Kafka's Great Wall short story
  • 47 Back to the Wall (p. 331)
  • Press photo from the Sino-Japanese War
  • 48 Prop Art (p. 339)
  • 1960s poster of peace and friendship
  • 49 'Love our China, rebuild our Great Wall' (p. 345)
  • Painting depicting Deng Xiaoping at the Great Wall
  • 50 A Gift to China (p. 352)
  • Pair of photos of Luowenyu, 80 years apart
  • Epilogue (p. 359)
  • 51 Italian Journey (p. 369)
  • The Borgia Great Wall scroll
  • Chronology of Dynasties (p. 377)
  • Bibliography (p. 381)
  • Photo Credits (p. 389)
  • Acknowledgements (p. 391)
  • Index (p. 397)