Sunday, 6 April 2014
Preparing for the trip, it occurred to me how little there is in all the Ladybird series about China, the most populous country on earth and the longest continuous civilisation. All the colour and drama and legends and heros and folklore.
All the inventions: paper, printing, gun-powder, the compass. The wonderful logographic script. Fine Ladybird fare, you'd have thought.
Why so little?
Well I suppose the first reason that in the 1960s and 1970s - the 'golden years' of Ladybird, China was still seen as pretty well closed to the outside world. After it's 'century of humiliation' and the internal strife between Republicans, Nationalists and Communists, China turned in on itself - and the rest of the world pretended it didn't exist.
At least Hong Kong gave us a few Ladybird Books in Chinese.
Anyway, I'm off tomorrow. Please wish me, as the Chinese say, favourable winds ...