HANCHAO LU    Book Number: 85018    Product format: Hardback

During the Chinese Revolution of 1911, photographs of the upheaval were rare, but an American photographer, Francis Stafford (1884-1938), was working for Commercial Press in Shanghai, and consequentially obtained some remarkable images. The revolution ended the rule of the Manchu Qing Dynasty, which had been in power for 267 years, as well as the 200 year old ancient imperial system. Interestingly, the photographs taken by Francis are not just the standard war correspondent shots of generals and the Imperial Court; he has also captured images of the revolutionaries and everyday life such as a boy using oxen to plough his father's fields. In the background are thatched huts which contained huge glazed earthenware basins to store excrement, the essential fertiliser in traditional farms. Amongst the other photographs are a group of schoolchildren - the small girls still victims of the foot-binding custom - and military photos depicting scenes from the uprising. Plus paddy rice fields, food markets, factory workshops, Buddhist temples and Christian churches. A particularly striking image shows Francis Stafford cutting off the long queue or pigtail of a Chinese man in an obvious and powerful political statement. The queue had been a Manchu custom, and Chinese men had been ordered to shave the front of the head and plait the hair into the queue as a symbol of submission. This is a remarkable insight into early twentieth century China, revolution and war, revealing the social changes as they happened. 162 glorious photos set in historical and cultural context with extensive captions. 210pp. B/w illus.
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Published price: £32
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Additional product information

ISBN 9780295989402
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