Grandpa's Letters is a collection of letters written by Wang Rumei
(Youdan) to his youngest son Wang Xuan (Shaozhou) between 1932 and
1936. An accomplished Confucian scholar in retirement after a
political career lasting more than two decades, Youdan belongs to
the gentry class and the intellectuals of an older generation. Yet
like most people in China at that time, his life and that of his
family were severely affected by the political turmoil of this
period, and he shared with the majority of the Chinese people a
strong sense of nationalism and patriotism on the eve of the
Japanese invasion of China (1938-1945). These letters are in both
Chinese and English translation and are richly annotated in order
to help the reader better understand Chinese culture, tradition,
and customs. To be faithful to history, they are not edited. A
phonetical transcription-pinyin-is included in the English version
of certain poetry so that those who do not read Chinese can have a
sense of what the poems sound like and can better understand the
rules for Chinese classical poetry. Youdan's elegant and well-known
calligraphy is also presented in the book as images.
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