In a contest of change, which century from the past millennium would come up trumps? Imagine the Black Death took on the female vote in a pub brawl, or the Industrial Revolution faced the Internet in a medieval joust - whose side would you be on? In this hugely entertaining book, celebrated historian Ian Mortimer takes us on a whirlwind tour of Western history, pitting one century against another in his quest to measure change.
In 1938, with the Japanese army approaching from Nanking, Huan Hsu's great-great grandfather, Liu, and his five granddaughters were forced to flee their hometown on the banks of the Yangtze River. But before they left, a hole was dug as deep as a man and as wide as a bedroom, in which was stowed the family heirlooms. Among their antique furniture, jade, and scrolls was Liu's prized porcelain collection, one he had amassed over many years and which contained priceless imperial items.