[current_date format=l,] [current_date]

Snapping China Before the Revolutions

Unlike Egypt with its pyramids buried under the sands, China did not have calamitous sand storms or great floods to erase its 5,000 years of civilization. But, the China you see today has been altered beyond the great flood, not by nature, but by its people. During recent history, China experienced colossal loss during Japanese invasion of the World War II. Furthermore, the Chinese Communist party’s destructive revolutions and ideological brainwashing movements destroyed most of the ancient Chinese architecture, traditions and moralities.     Coincidentally, just before the war and revolution took place, a woman from Great Britain quietly photographed the Middle Kingdom during its final days of the Qing Dynasty. Her photo collection, later published, was simply called “Chinese Pictures,” a compilation of various pictures of the Middle

Unlike Egypt with its pyramids buried under the sands, China did not have calamitous sand storms or great floods to erase its 5,000 years of civilization. But, the China you see today has been altered beyond the great flood, not by nature, but by its people. During recent history, China experienced colossal loss during Japanese invasion of the World War II. Furthermore, the Chinese Communist party’s destructive revolutions and ideological brainwashing movements destroyed most of the ancient Chinese architecture, traditions and moralities.    

Coincidentally, just before the war and revolution took place, a woman from Great Britain quietly photographed the Middle Kingdom during its final days of the Qing Dynasty. Her photo collection, later published, was simply called “Chinese Pictures,” a compilation of various pictures of the Middle Kingdom. These photographs were shot during Ms. Isabella Bird’s intrepid explorations in China from the north to the south. Her inquisitive Far East trips were made at the beginning of the 19th -century, when the Middle Kingdom was forced open by the Western artillery and warships after the Opium War.

Isabella Bird is one of the most well-known female explorers of the Victorian period. Bird embarked on a journey to the Middle Kingdom before its western influences and wars, and returned with astonishing images that have remained her signature work to this day. Her book contained the most vivid images of China in the midst of its transformation from ancient to modern.

Isabella Bird
Isabella Bird | Denver Public Library

Isabella Bird was born into a wealthy and devout Christian family in 1831. Her family arranged for her to go to America to recover her ailing health in 1854. However, her life changed dramatically when her father died of influenza in 1858. Her family’s  wealth was tremendously reduced, and they were forced to stay in a humble apartment in Edinburgh. In 1881, Bird wed John Bishop, who passed away in 1886, leaving Bird a widow and a large fortune after her five year marriage.

As a result of losing relatives, Bird suffered both emotional and psychological  pains, her physician recommended she go to Australia. She then  visited Hawaii (also known as the Sandwich Islands in Europe), and  climbed Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. The Hawaii trip inspired her to write a novel, and her interest of exploring the world grew.

Trip to China:

In 1894, Isabella Bird took her longest overseas trip. She traveled to China. After the Opium war, China was defeated by the British and other western nations at its own doorstep. At the time, the Qing Dynasty was facing a great deal of foreign influence in an attempt to conquer Chinese territory and expand their western ideologies. The foreign nations operated their business inside China to gain greater financial profits by force.

When Bird left Liverpool on January 11, 1894, she had no notion that she would be traveling directly into a war-zone. During her three year trip to China, Korea, and Japan, she did not yet know how deep a fascination she would develop with China.

During her travels, Isabella Bird captured memorable photographs on her tour of China. She was intrigued by ancient Chinese culture and its’ people. After her return, in 1899, she produced the book Yangtze Valley and Beyond in order to document her experiences and satisfy the requests of her friends.

A year later, in 1900, she published Chinese Pictures which was a comprehensive replica of Bird’s collection of pictures shot in China. The remainder of her life was supported by constant income from Murray Publishers, from which she produced books and trip memoirs. Her works earned great attention from the government and the press during her time, and satisfied the British’s fascination with the East and China.

Among these significant images are the following:

The Private Entrance of Beijing’s Imperial Palace
The Private Entrance of Beijing’s Imperial Palace
The Private Entrance of Beijing’s Imperial Palace

This photograph was taken from the wall of the Forbidden City showing the entrance to the Imperial Palace. The image was taken because the imperial family was the subject of tremendous fascination. The home of the Emperor, represented by the central structure, was also shown.

The Dragon’s Bridge
Dragon’s Bridge
The Dragon’s Bridge

This image depicts the normal appearance of the stone bridge. On each pier of the bridge, a dragon is perched. As the Chinese national symbol, the dragon is what makes this image unique.

The Shanghai Z-shaped Bridge
The Shanghai Z-shaped Bridge
The Shanghai Z-shaped Bridge

This image depicts two distinct parts of Chinese culture. This is that it was home to the most fashionable teahouse in China, frequented by the aristocracy. And, secondly, women were never seen at the tea shop or in public, indicating that China was a place where only males went out.

An infant tower in Foochow
An infant tower in Foochow
An infant tower in Foochow

Parents who were unable to provide a proper burial for their deceased child due to poverty placed the infant in one of these tower apertures. Every two to three days, a beneficence guild cleared the tower and buried the infants with full burial rituals. This image depicts  the extent of poverty in China.

Wayside Monuments

Wayside Shrines

Wayside Shrines
Wayside Shrines

As Catholic churches were widespread across Europe, so were these roadside shrines containing a statue. They were often referred to as “Joss Houses.”

The Wedding Chair
The Wedding Chair
The Wedding Chair

This snapshot portrays Chinese marriage culture. The upper-class bride was transported to her husband’s residence on a marriage chair. Those who could not afford the chair would rent one for the event. In China, a big family was the standard. Chinese women were excellent mothers and devoted spouses. The children were given much care and affection.

A Temple with a Porcelain Front on the Yangtze
Porcelain Temple
Porcelain Temple

China honored its centuries-old porcelain production. Porcelain was used for the facades and roofs of several temples in the province of Sze Chuan in the Chinese Empire. They had the dazzling appearance of jewels. Bird also examined the significance of porcelain in the English Worcester market.

A Youngster Consuming Rice with Chopsticks
Child eating rice
Child eating rice

This image highlighted the significance of rice in Chinese culture. The Chinese were excellent chefs. Their cuisine was healthy and often contained steamed dishes.

Massive Astronomical Devices on the Peking Wall
Astronomical Devices on the Peking Wall
Astronomical Devices on the Peking Wall

These bronze-cast astronomy instruments are estimated to be many hundreds of years old. They are regarded as the world’s oldest astronomical instruments. There is little difference between their findings and those of astronomers’ apparatus from the 1890s.

Other noteworthy images include:

The Front Door of the British Legation

Front door of the British Legation

Szechwan Silk Reeling

Szechwan Silk Reeling

A Common House Entrance

Entrance of a house

The Method of Transporting Money and Infants

Method of transporting money and infants

Chinese Guest Hall, Wan Hsien, Szechwan

Chinese Guest Hall

A Traveller Arriving At An Inn In Manchuria

A Traveller Arriving At An Inn In Manchuria

A Mule Cart

A Mule Cart

The Mode of Carrying Oil and Wine

The mode of carrying oil and wine

A Small Houseboat on the Yangtze Kiang

Houseboat on Yangtze Kiang


More on this topic

More Stories

Refreshing and Insights
at No Cost to You!

Cancel anytime

Latest Articles

Leave a Reply


Top Products

Contact us

Wherever & whenever you are,
we are here always.

The Middle Land

100 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700 Santa Monica, CA 90401
Footer Contact

To Editor

Terms and Conditions

October, 2023

Using our website

You may use the The Middle Land website subject to the Terms and Conditions set out on this page. Visit this page regularly to check the latest Terms and Conditions. Access and use of this site constitutes your acceptance of the Terms and Conditions in-force at the time of use.

Intellectual property

Names, images and logos displayed on this site that identify The Middle Land are the intellectual property of New San Cai Inc. Copying any of this material is not permitted without prior written approval from the owner of the relevant intellectual property rights.

Requests for such approval should be directed to the competition committee.

Please provide details of your intended use of the relevant material and include your contact details including name, address, telephone number, fax number and email.

Linking policy

You do not have to ask permission to link directly to pages hosted on this website. However, we do not permit our pages to be loaded directly into frames on your website. Our pages must load into the user’s entire window.

The Middle Land is not responsible for the contents or reliability of any site to which it is hyperlinked and does not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them. Linking to or from this site should not be taken as endorsement of any kind. We cannot guarantee that these links will work all the time and have no control over the availability of the linked pages.


All information, data, text, graphics or any other materials whatsoever uploaded or transmitted by you is your sole responsibility. This means that you are entirely responsible for all content you upload, post, email or otherwise transmit to the The Middle Land website.

Virus protection

We make every effort to check and test material at all stages of production. It is always recommended to run an anti-virus program on all material downloaded from the Internet. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss, disruption or damage to your data or computer system, which may occur while using material derived from this website.


The website is provided ‘as is’, without any representation or endorsement made, and without warranty of any kind whether express or implied.

Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable. It is your responsibility to ensure any products, services or information available through this website meet your specific requirements.

We do not warrant the operation of this site will be uninterrupted or error free, that defects will be corrected, or that this site or the server that makes it available are free of viruses or represent the full functionality, accuracy and reliability of the materials. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including, without limitation, loss of profits, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damages whatsoever arising from the use, or loss of data, arising out of – or in connection with – the use of this website.

Privacy & Cookie Policy

October, 2023

Last Updated: October 1, 2023

New San Cai Inc. (hereinafter “The Middle Land,” “we,” “us,” or “our”) owns and operates www.themiddleland.com, its affiliated websites and applications (our “Sites”), and provides related products, services, newsletters, and other offerings (together with the Sites, our “Services”) to art lovers and visitors around the world.

This Privacy Policy (the “Policy”) is intended to provide you with information on how we collect, use, and share your personal data. We process personal data from visitors of our Sites, users of our Services, readers or bloggers (collectively, “you” or “your”). Personal data is any information about you. This Policy also describes your choices regarding use, access, and correction of your personal information.

If after reading this Policy you have additional questions or would like further information, please contact us.


We collect and process personal data only for lawful reasons, such as our legitimate business interests, your consent, or to fulfill our legal or contractual obligations.

Information You Provide to Us

Most of the information Join Talents collects is provided by you voluntarily while using our Services. We do not request highly sensitive data, such as health or medical information, racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, etc. and we ask that you refrain from sending us any such information.

Here are the types of personal data that you voluntarily provide to us:

  • Name, email address, and any other contact information that you provide by filling out your profile forms
  • Billing information, such as credit card number and billing address
  • Work or professional information, such as your company or job title
  • Unique identifiers, such as username or password
  • Demographic information, such as age, education, interests, and ZIP code
  • Details of transactions and preferences from your use of the Services
  • Correspondence with other users or business that you send through our Services, as well as correspondence sent to JoinTalents.com

As a registered users or customers, you may ask us to review or retrieve emails sent to your business. We will access these emails to provide these services for you.

We use the personal data you provide to us for the following business purposes:

  • Set up and administer your account
  • Provide and improve the Services, including displaying content based on your previous transactions and preferences
  • Answer your inquiries and provide customer service
  • Send you marketing communications about our Services, including our newsletters (please see the Your Rights/Opt Out section below for how to opt out of marketing communications)
  • Communicate with users who registered their accounts on our site
  • Prevent, discover, and investigate fraud, criminal activity, or violations of our Terms and Conditions
  • Administer contests and events you entered

Information Obtained from Third-Party Sources

We collect and publish biographical and other information about users, which we use to promote the articles and our bloggers  who use our sites. If you provide personal information about others, or if others give us your information, we will only use that information for the specific reason for which it was provided.

Information We Collect by Automated Means

Log Files

The site uses your IP address to help diagnose server problems, and to administer our website. We use your IP addresses to analyze trends and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.

Every time you access our Site, some data is temporarily stored and processed in a log file, such as your IP addresses, the browser types, the operating systems, the recalled page, or the date and time of the recall. This data is only evaluated for statistical purposes, such as to help us diagnose problems with our servers, to administer our sites, or to improve our Services.

Do Not Track

Your browser or device may include “Do Not Track” functionality. Our information collection and disclosure practices, and the choices that we provide to customers, will continue to operate as described in this Privacy Policy, whether or not a “Do Not Track” signal is received.


We may share your personal data with third parties only in the ways that are described in this Privacy Policy. We do not sell, rent, or lease your personal data to third parties, and We does not transfer your personal data to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

We may share your personal data with third parties as follows:

  • With service providers under contract to help provide the Services and assist us with our business operations (such as our direct marketing, payment processing, fraud investigations, bill collection, affiliate and rewards programs)
  • As required by law, such as to comply with a subpoena, or similar legal process, including to meet national security or law enforcement requirements
  • When we believe in good faith that disclosure is necessary to protect rights or safety, investigate fraud, or respond to a government request
  • With other users of the Services that you interact with to help you complete a transaction

There may be other instances where we share your personal data with third parties based on your consent.


We retain your information for as long as your account is active or as needed to provide you Services. If you wish to cancel your account or request that we no longer use your personal data, contact us. We will retain and use your personal data as necessary to comply with legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements.

All you and our data are stored in the server in the United States, we do not sales or transfer your personal data to the third party. All information you provide is stored on a secure server, and we generally accepted industry standards to protect the personal data we process both during transmission and once received.


You may correct, update, amend, delete/remove, or deactivate your account and personal data by making the change on your Blog on www.themiddleland.com or by emailing our customer service. We will respond to your request within a reasonable timeframe.

You may choose to stop receiving Join Talents newsletters or marketing emails at any time by following the unsubscribe instructions included in those communications, or you can contact us.


The Middle Land include links to other websites whose privacy practices may differ from that of ours. If you submit personal data to any of those sites, your information is governed by their privacy statements. We encourage you to carefully read the Privacy Policy of any website you visit.


Our Services are not intended for use by children, and we do not knowingly or intentionally solicit data from or market to children under the age of 18. We reserve the right to delete the child’s information and the child’s registration on the Sites.


We may update this Privacy Policy to reflect changes to our personal data processing practices. If any material changes are made, we will notify you on the Sites prior to the change becoming effective. You are encouraged to periodically review this Policy.


If you have any questions about our Privacy Policy, please contact customer service or send us mail at:

The Middle Land/New San Cai
100 Wilshire Blvd., 7th Floor
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Article Submission


Are you sure? Do you want to logout of the account?

New Programs Added to Your Plan

March 2, 2023

The Michelin brothers created the guide, which included information like maps, car mechanics listings, hotels and petrol stations across France to spur demand.

The guide began to award stars to fine dining restaurants in 1926.

At first, they offered just one star, the concept was expanded in 1931 to include one, two and three stars. One star establishments represent a “very good restaurant in its category”. Two honour “excellent cooking, worth a detour” and three reward “exceptional cuisine, worth a


February 28, 2023        Hiring Journalists all hands apply

January 18, 2023          Hiring Journalists all hands apply


Leave a Reply

Forgot Password ?

Please enter your email id or user name to
recover your password

Thank you for your participation!
Back to Home
Thank you for your subscription!
Please check your email to activate your account.
Back to Home
Thank you for your participation!
Please check your email for the results.
Back to Home

Login to Vote!

Thank you for your participation,
please Log in or Sign up to Vote

Thank you for your Comment

Back to Home

Reply To:

New Programs Added to Your Plan

Login Now

123Sign in to your account