Saturday 09 Oct 2021 | 05:23 | SYDNEY
Saturday 09 Oct 2021 | 05:23 | SYDNEY

Reader ripostes: China & Henry VIII


Sam Roggeveen


5 March 2010 13:05

Markus Pfister writes: 

Loved and agreed with your post. The issue is however not our perceptions, or even the truth, but the (necessarily flawed) perceptions of Chinese elites ('China'). My feeling is that, egged on by their own collective superiority/inferiority/narcissistic complex, China is beginning to believe its own propaganda — and beginning to believe OUR propaganda, especially that tsunami of boring books on how China is the Next Big Thing.

Thus it is Chinese attitudes and perceptions that need to be carefully tracked.

 Elben52 responds to my post on Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall:

You ask for comments from readers. Well, here is one. Hilary Mantel’s book is excruciatingly long winded.True, she paints an interesting canvas of the times as is expected of literature.

I am familiar with the Tudor period. I suggest that a better recommendation than Mantel is Simon Schama's 'A History of Britain: 3000 BC to AD 1603'. Schama isn’t long winded and is a most talented writer, in particular when dealing with Elizabeth 1.

My criticism of Schama is that, in my view, he doesn’t adequately deal with the repercussions of the role of parliament to bring about the Reformation in Britain.

My beef with Mantel is more prosaic. She continually uses 'he' to refer to Thomas Cromwell, no matter how many other male characters are involved in the action being described. When you read novels as slowly as I do, you tend to forget this, which means you have to retrace your steps a lot.