We’re going back into the archives to revisit these classic posts by James Norwood Pratt. This post includes the two-part sequence “The Ruin of China” and the standalone “Teas of the World Today”. We have added a link to the end of each one to take you to the next if you would like to read them as a sequence, or you can choose which you want to peruse below. Enjoy!

The Ruin of China

Following the Opium Wars, China was gradually “opened up” by a succession of wars in 1856, 1861, 1871, and 1894 . . . . The rivalry between merchants was almost exactly mirrored by the rivalry between the Christian sects . . . . The material treasures of China were destroyed or dispersed all over the world. The loss of this cornucopia of three millennia of civilization was matched by the destruction of the Chinese genius for craftsmanship and design. The Chinese became copiers or coolies . . . For a pot of tea, one could say, Chinese culture was very nearly destroyed.

Henry Hobhouse, Seeds of Change: Five Plants that Transformed Mankind

Part One

To his forgotten credit, England’s Walter Savage Landor was alone among her poets in lamenting the ruin of China…(Read more)

Part Two

The brilliance and duration of the Chinese civilization is simply unparalleled in human history. Most people know only about China’s…(Read more)

Teas of the World Today

As now and ever shall be, the tea plant is a miracle of vegetation. Of its eighty-some sisters in the Camellia family, it is the only one…(Read more)

Photo “Warrior” is copyright under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License to the photographer Adam Baker and is being posted unaltered (source)