Monday, 10 December 2012

For all the tea in China

Is it still a book launch when the editor of the book hasn't yet arrived? This is what we quietly worried on Thursday night as Chris Elder was delayed by the Auckland tornado on his way back from Beijing. Of course he made it, a little late and ready for a glass of bubbly and a spring roll!
New Zealand's China Experience was given a loving send-off into the world. To celebrate we're sharing one of the excellent full colour illustrations from the beautifully produced book. This one you'll recognise as a Sarah Laing classic (thanks Sarah!).

Highlights from the book include:
  • An 1823 report pointing to the importance of the Chinese market.
  • The lives of Chinese goldminers seen by the missionary Alexander Don and the contemporary writer Alison Wong, and in the film Illustrious Energy.
  • First-hand reports of the bombing of Shanghai by Robin Hyde, and Mao Zedong in the Yunan caves by James Bertram.
  • The Chinese contractor in Dunedin who changed his name to MacPherson in order to bid successfully for Council contracts.
  • The New Zealand sheep flown 2,500 miles inland from Shanghai and rafted down the Yellow River to establish a breeding flock.
  • The New Zealand Honorary Consul in Tianjin who caused a diplomatic incident when required to remove his trousers at a Japanese checkpoint.
  • The ship’s captain who took greenstone from Milford Sound for the China market, losing an eye and fracturing both arms in the blasting operation.

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