Empire Made Me … in Chinese

Cover of Chiense translation of Empire Made Me

Cover of Chinese translation of Empire Made Me

Zhejiang University Press has recently published a Chinese translation of the book, as 帝国造就了我:一个英国人在旧上海的往事 (Diguo zaojiu le wo: yi ge Yingguoren zai jiu Shanghai de wangshi). The main title has been retained, although the sub-title has been slightly changed to stress the fact that policeman Maurice Tinkler was adrift in ‘Old Shanghai’.

One choice which puzzles me is the decision not to use at all the photograph of Tinkler which was central to the UK cover. That photograph, of Tinkler on a houseboat holiday west of Shanghai, standing in a field holding a pistol in a firing position, seemed to me encapsulate a great deal about the man and his image of himslf. In fact, it was looking at that image which suggested some of the key themes which I explored in the book. Instead we have a slice of the Shanghai bund, younger Tinkler swaggering in his all to brief days as a trainee officer at the end of the First World War, and, charmingly, a figure from one of his war-time drawings, which I found in his sweetheart Lily Wilson’s commonplace book.