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TRADERS OF THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE

TRADERS OF THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE

How the hardy Yunnanese Chinese known as "Haw" have dominated the region for more than six centuries. 36,500 words, 70 historical images, 46 contemporary images, 5 maps, Bibliography

During the latter half of the twentieth century the little-known and often lawless region where Laos, Burma, Thailand and China meet has become known and widely romanticised as ‘The Golden Triangle’. Originally a Western designation applied to the region because of its wealth in jade, silver, rubies, lumber, rare animal products and, above all, opium, the name has stuck and is today accepted both in Chinese and in Thai.

By reputation, by very definition, the area is off the beaten track. The home of drug warlords, arms dealers, insurgent armies, latter-day slave traders and plain, old-fashioned bandits, it is also the home of an extraordinarily wide range of colourful ethnic minorities, many still only partly known and understood, and a veritable Tower of Babel linguistically.

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CHINA’S ANCIENT TEA HORSE ROAD

CHINA’S ANCIENT TEA HORSE ROAD

Follow the jingling mule trains carrying tea across the centuries from China to Tibet. 35 historic images, 10 contemporary images, 1 map

The antique Silk Road that connected the Chinese and Mediterranean Worlds for more than a millennium, facilitating the exchange of both goods and cultures, is widely known and celebrated.

Less familiar is its more southerly equivalent, the ‘Ancient Tea-Horse Road’ that once linked the lush tea gardens of southwest China with the frigid wastelands of Tibet and – beyond – the torrid plains of northern India. The latter is also sometimes called the ‘Southern Silk Road’, though this is a misnomer, as silk seems never to have played a very important part in the traffic that traveled along it.

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100 FAMOUS VIEWS OF EDO

100 FAMOUS VIEWS OF EDO

100 FAMOUS VIEWS OF EDO [OLD TOKYO]

100 FAMOUS VIEWS OF EDO [OLD TOKYO]

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THE ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF TEA

THE ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF TEA

An illustrated version of Okakura Kakuzo’s classic ‘The Book of Tea’ with an introductory biography of Okakura and a chapter on ‘Tea - The Serviceable Herb’. 22,000 words, 75 contemporary and historical images

Perhaps the most universal of all drinks but water, tea enjoys a unique popularity around the globe. From the Patagonian Pampas in Argentina, to the high plateau of Tibet, it serves as a restorative, an aid to digestion and a warming “pick-me-up”. In the refined chanoyu ceremony of Japan, tea-drinking has attained an apex of cultural sophistication, whilst half a world away in Great Britain high tea, generally taken at mid-afternoon, distinguishes the drawing rooms of the rich and influential, royalty and commoner alike. No doubt about it, people everywhere hold tea in high esteem – but where did it originate, and who first thought of plucking the leaves of this sturdy shrub, and then infusing them in boiling water?

According to oral tradition, tea has been grown in China for more than four millennia. The earliest written accounts of tea making, however, date from around 350 CE, when it first became a drink at the imperial court.

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THE ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF DRAGONS AND DRAGON LORE

THE ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF DRAGONS AND DRAGON LORE

A new illustrated edition of Ernest Ingersoll’s classic 1928 study of dragons in all their multifarious forms, from Imperial China to St. George. 54,000 words, 92 historical images, 30 contemporary images

Belief in dragons has united humanity more than the belief in any other mythological creature. From China and Japan, through Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East, to Europe and even Central America, the image of the dragon has burned brightly in the imaginations of our forefathers.

Even today dragons continue to fascinate. In the 21st century, far from disappearing, dragons and dragon lore have spawned a wide range of fantasy books, games, TV series and movies that are enduringly popular worldwide - as indeed are dragon tattoos.

Ernest Ingersoll’s classic 1928 study of Dragons and Dragon Lore is here reproduced, together with a new introductory essay by Daniel Henley and a unique collection of full colour high definition dragon images from across the world.

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THE ILLUSTRATED TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD

THE ILLUSTRATED TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD

An illustrated version of the classic Tibetan text. 16,000 words, 4 appendices, 71 historic images, 9 contemporary images

Bardo Thodol or ’The Tibetan Book of the Dead’ is a mystical funerary text rooted in the Tibetan Tantric and Vajrayana Buddhist teachings. Composed by the guru and sage Padmasambhava in the 8th century, the Bardo Thodol is recited by a Buddhist lama over a dying or recently deceased person as a spiritual guide to the process of death and that which follows.

This illustrated version combines the English language text by Walter Evans-Wentz with a unique collection of 80 pictures relating to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

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APOCALYPSE: THE ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF REVELATION

APOCALYPSE: THE ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF REVELATION

The original King James version of the Book of Revelation profusely illustrated with rare and magnificent images from the 10th and 11th century Beatus commentaries; the 12th century Bamberg Apocalypse and the 15th century Ottheinrich Bible. 14,500 words, 99 full colour images

The version of the Book of Revelation given here is that of the authorised King James Version of the Bible, begun in 1604 and completed in 1611. The King James Bible is generally regarded as a literary master work, and its version of the Book of Revelation is reproduced here without change or comment as the Authorized Version of the Church of England.

What distinguishes this edition of the Book of Revelation is not the text but the remarkable and imaginatively beautiful accompanying images. These are derived from various 10th and 11th century illuminated manuscript versions of the Commentaria in Apocalypsin or ‘Commentary on the Apocalypse’ originally penned by the Spanish monk and theologian Beatus of Liébana in the mid-8th century. To these are added a series of illuminated miniatures of Revelations from the Bamberg Apocalypse created at Reichenau between 1000 and 1020, and from the Ottheinrich Bible, commissioned in c.1425 by the Royal Court of Bavaria and completed in the early 16th century by the artist Matthias Gerung.

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VIETNAM PAST AND PRESENT: THE NORTH

VIETNAM PAST AND PRESENT: THE NORTH

A journey through North Vietnam’s historic past and fast-changing present; 62,000 words, 4 maps, 81 contemporary images, 38 historical images, glossary, bibliography

Vietnam is a name that resonates in the American national consciousness. Yet before the Gulf of Tonkin Incident in 1964, few Americans knew much about Vietnam, causing former US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara to comment that Americans were ’almost completely ignorant of Vietnamese culture, knowing little of the language or long history of the country’.

By contrast, since the fall of Saigon in 1975 there can be few people anywhere in the world that do not know the name, location and recent history of Vietnam. Yet beyond the period of US involvement in what Americans call the ’Vietnam War’ and Vietnamese call the ’American War’, how much has changed?

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