一路 BBS

 找回密码
 注册
搜索
查看: 477|回复: 0

A Book on Opium War

[复制链接]
发表于 9-1-2014 17:05:27 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Stephen R Platt, Trade by Other Means; China won at most one battle--and even that was largely due to the weather. Wall Street Journal, Aug 30, 2014
online.wsj.com/articles/book-review-the-opium-war-by-julia-lovell-1409339298
(book review on Julia Lovell, The Opium War; Drugs, dreams and the making of China. Overlook, 2014)

Quote:

“On the one hand, the war was terrifically lopsided (the Chinese won at most one engagement, depending on which sources you trust, and even that victory was mainly due to the weather). On the other hand, although action on the ground could be over almost instantly—one battle she describes was decided in nine minutes—anything involving a response from London required the better part of a year for communications to travel back and forth.

“It is on China's side that the memory of this war matters most today, for it shapes both diplomatic and popular responses to world events. * * * Yet she finds that Chinese writers in the 19th century tended to use the memory of the Opium War more as a spur toward modernization, seeking answers for why China was weak rather than dwelling on anger toward Britain. It wasn't until Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist regime in the 1920s and '30s that schoolbooks began teaching it as the foundation of national shame, the imperialist humiliation that all citizens should work together to avenge. The Communist Party carried the message forward from there.

Note:
(a) “Julia Lovell, a University of London historian, takes us back to the time with ‘The Opium War,’ a crisp and readable account. She keeps a sharp plot running, which is a testament to her writing skills”
(i) Julia Lovell (1975- ; professor of modern Chinese history and literature at Birkbeck, University of London)  Wikipedia
(ii) Birkbeck, University of London
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birkbeck,_University_of_London
(established in 1823 by George Birkbeck)
(iii) crisp (adj): “BRISK, LIVELY <a crisp tale of intrigue>”
www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crisp
(iv) sharp (adj):
“3:  keen in spirit or action: as
a :  full of activity or energy :  BRISK <sharp blows>”
www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sharp

(b) “the derogatory English name ‘Opium War’ was not some latter-day construction but one used at the time by critics such as the London Times (which in 1840 condemned the opium trade in China as ‘a lawless and accursed traffick, to be bolstered up by a flagitious and murderous war’).”
(i) accursed (adj):
“1: being under or as if under a cursed
2: DAMNABLE”
www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/accursed

Definition 2 fits the bill, meaning “very bad.”
(ii) No English dictionary online or in print nowadays in both US and UK has the entry of "traffick." The only one I can find is

traffick (n, v)
in Webster’s 1828 dictionary.
1828.mshaffer.com/d/word/traffick
(iii) flagitious (adj; ultimately from Latin noun neuter flagitium shameful thing):
"marked by scandalous crime or vice : VILLAINOUS"
www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flagitious

(c) “For the latter part of the 20th century it was heresy to seek fault on the Chinese side for the Opium War's outcome. So when, in 1995, the historian MAO Haijian published a bombshell of a book, ‘The Collapse of a Dynasty,’ in which he mined the imperial archives to illuminate how corruption, ignorance and hypocrisy had undermined China's war efforts and diplomacy from within, he was, predictably, attacked by the government for having ‘thought problems.’ But he survived the criticism and is now an eminent professor at Peking University.”

茅海建, 天朝的崩溃:鸦片战争再研究(The collapse of the Celestial Empire; A reanalysis of the Opium War). Beijing: 三联书店 Sanlian shudian, 2005.

(d) “19 monkeys assembled for the defense of the coastal city of Ningbo. As a young Chinese poet in the army explained it, the plan was to tie firecrackers to the monkeys' backs and then fling them onto the British warships to ignite their powder magazines. Except nobody was willing to get close enough to the ships to fling them. And then, when the British attacked, everyone fled, including the animal keeper. The monkeys—the only participants who had not actively shirked their duties—were left behind, tied up in their keeper's house, where they died slowly of starvation.”


“张应云 * * * 还计划过爆炸夷船:’用大猴狲多缚花爆于背,燃放之抛 入夷船,火星四迸,或可巧值火药,则一船齑粉矣。’  于是’各处购得(猴狲)19头,进兵时以数夫舁至骆驼桥,兵败又舁归慈溪举人冯熔家。盖无人敢近夷船, 故虽有此策而未之行也。’         
慈溪万户静如村,略有人烟惨不温。
    一死却怜孙供奉,谁携山果饲饥魂。
慈溪文武官员闻得大宝山朱贵战死,’相率弃城同走,粮饷文册抛弃无存,而猴狲19头皆饿死于冯氏厅堂。”
贺圣谟, 鸦片战争在宁波(下). 宁波晚报, Dec 16, 2006.
www.cnnb.com.cn/gb/node2/newspap ... ject7ai1340130.html

回复

使用道具 举报

您需要登录后才可以回帖 登录 | 注册

本版积分规则

快速回复 返回顶部 返回列表