Edward Rutherfurd: China and Queen Victoria (1839)
Travels Through Time
In this playful episode with the novelist Edward Rutherfurd, we venture east and back to the mid-nineteenth-century. By 1839 Chinese patience with the British-run opium trade was running thin. Rutherfurd explains how a confrontation between the ancient, proud and insular Chinese and the merchant adventurers of the West had become inevitable and how, had he the chance, he would have tried to stop it. Edward Rutherfurd is one of Britain’s great authors. Over the past 40 years he has written eight bestsellers, including his epic novel Sarum, which spent 23 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Rutherfurd's latest book, China, engages with the historical context we explore in this episode. As ever, much, much more about this episode is to be found at our website tttpodcast.com.Show notesScene One: June, 1839. Chinese Commissioner Lin burns thousands of chests of opium confiscated from British (and also American) merchants. This sets off the famous Opium Wars that so profoundly affect the attitude of China towards the West to this day. Scene Two: October, 1839. The engagement of Victoria and Albert at Windsor Castle. Scene Three: The following morning, October, 1839. Windsor Castle with all the newly-purchased equipment to make a Daguerrotype photograph. Memento: An egg boiled by Warren Delano during the siege of the 'factories' at Canton.People/SocialPresenter: Peter Moore Guest: Edward Rutherfurd Production: Maria Nolan Podcast partner: Colorgraph Follow us on Twitter: @tttpodcast_ Or on Facebook See where 1839 fits on our Timeline
Edward Rutherfurd returns to the Festival with his latest bestseller, China: The Novel, for a conversation with Janet Somerville, author, educator and reviewer of Historical Fiction for the Toronto Star. Edward Rutherfurd has enthralled millions of readers with his grand, sweeping historical sagas that tell the history of a famous place over multiple generations. Now, in China: The Novel, Rutherfurd takes readers into the rich and fascinating milieu of the Middle Kingdom.The story begins in 1839, at the dawn of the First Opium War, and follows Chinese history through Mao's Cultural Revolution and up to the present day. Rutherfurd chronicles the rising and falling fortunes of members of Chinese, British, and American families, as they negotiate the tides of history. Along the way, in his signature style, Rutherfurd provides a deeply researched portrait of Chinese history and society, its ancient traditions and great upheavals, and China's emergence as a rising global power. As always, we are treated to romance and adventure, heroines and scoundrels, grinding struggle and incredible fortunes.From Shanghai to Nanking to the Great Wall, China: The Novel, chronicles the turbulent rise and fall of empires as the colonial West meets the opulent and complex East in a dramatic struggle between cultures and people.Books are available from our friends at Perfect Books.The Ottawa International Writers Festival is supported by generous individuals like you. Please consider subscribing to our newsletter and making a donation to support our programming and children’s literacy initiatives.Presented in partnership with the Ottawa Public Library.
In a sweeping historical novel, Edward Rutherfurd tells the story of China in the nineteenth century; from the opium wars to the Boxer Rebellion and how it leads to the tragic events of the twentieth century and the attitude of China towards the rest of the world today.
This is the first interview that bestselling novelist Edward Rutherfurd - author of epics Sarum, Russka, and London - has given about his new novel, China. China: the novel will be released on May 18. It begins amidst the opium trade in what was then called Canton, and takes us through to the end of the 19th century and the Boxer Rebellion in Beijing.We cover a lot of ground in this interview: why China and why the 19th century, writing about good characters doing bad things, and why it was important to describe the brutal process of foot binding (and why the gorier descriptions were left out of the final version). China: the novel will be available to purchase on Amazon on May 18, but you can pre-ordered now.https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0385538936/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0385538936&linkCode=as2&tag=thebeijingses-20&linkId=02ceaa48a88574f61cf64f6755764ad9***If you enjoy the podcast, please follow it, rate it, review it, and share it with friends. You can find me on twitter at twitter.com/haigablianThe website is thebeijingsessions.com
Edward Rutherfurd on his novel Paris and Literary Tourism
The Biblio File hosted by Nigel Beale
Edward Rutherfurd was born in England, in the cathedral city of Salisbury. Educated locally, and at the universities of Cambridge, and Stanford, California, he subsequently worked in political research, bookselling and publishing. Abandoning this career in the book trade in 1983, he returned to his childhood home to write SARUM, a historical novel with a ten-thousand year storyline, set in the area around the ancient monument of Stonehenge. It was an instant international bestseller remaining 23 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List. Since then he has written six more bestsellers: RUSSKA, a novel of Russia; LONDON; THE FOREST, set in England's New Forest which lies close by Sarum, and two novels which cover the story of Ireland from the time just before Saint Patrick to the twentieth century. In 2009 NEW YORK was published, and in 2013, PARIS. Rutherfurd is the quintessential Literary Tourist. He 'walks' the cities he writes about, researches them, imagines them, and arrives at a personal understanding of them. We talk here about this process, about the importance of learning about the ordinary lives of people from the past, of writing short stories about the places you visit, and about history as reconnaissance and "finding out what happened to the last army that went there".