My thanks to Peter Hibbard of Shanghai (author of a number of books on Shanghai including his excellent history/guide to The Bund) who found this book, donated to the Chinese Social and Political Science Association by ETC Werner, the former diplomat and noted Sinologist who was also, of course, the heroic father of the murdered Pamela Werner (obviously see my book Midnight in Peking!). The book is part of a much larger collection, parts of which will be displayed at the Time Traveler exhibition at the Rockbund gallery in Shanghai (housed in the former premises of the Royal Asiatic Society) running from September 29th to December 9th, 2012.
The Chinese Social and Political Science Association was formed in 1915 in Peking and the first meeting was convened in the home of the then Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lou Tseng-tsiang. Paul Reinsch, the well known and very smart US Ambassador to China at the time was also in attendance. Clearly a library was founded (who knows what happened to that?) and ETC Werner was contacted – don’t have a date for this but it may explain why I’ve never come across any traces of Werner’s library, considered one of the best private libraries in China in the 1920s and 1930s.
Lovely to find these little traces of history(what one non-fiction editor once told me she referred to as the “sheep droppings” of history!) popping up inspired by my book so that various little bits like this take on a greater importance and we understand them better.