Author(s): William Lindesay
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
William Lindesay OBE was born in Wallasey, UK, in 1956, and studied geography and geology at Liverpool University. His interest in the Great Wall of China started early and in 1987 he made what China's official Xinhua News Agency described as 'the most successful foreign exploration of the Great Wall'. As a Great Wall historian, Lindesay has published several accounts of his explorations and expeditions and initiated campaigns to preserve and protect China's most famous cultural landmark for which he was awarded an OBE in 2006. Lindesay currently lives in Beijing with his family.