Chiang Yee and His Circle

Chinese Artistic and Intellectual Life in Britain, 1930–1950

(蔣彝和他的文友:旅英華人的文藝創作和社會交往 1930–1950)

Edited by Paul Bevan, Anne Witchard, and Da Zheng

ISBN : 978-988-8754-13-7


April 2022

244 pages, 6″ x 9″, 4 color and 14 b&w illus.

  • HK$600.00

This book, Chiang Yee and His Circle: Chinese Artistic and Intellectual Life in Britain, 1930–1950, celebrates the life and work of Chiang Yee (1903–1977), a Chinese writer, poet, and painter who made his home in London, England during the 1930s and 1940s. It examines Chiang’s relationship with his circle of friends and colleagues in the English capital, and assesses the work he produced during his sojourn there. This edited volume, with contributions from eleven distinguished scholars, tells a story of a Chinese intellectual community in London that up to now has been largely overlooked. It portrays a dynamic picture of the London-based émigré life during the years that led up to the war and during the conflict that was the catalyst for many of them moving on. In addition, the book broadens our understanding of cultural interactions between China and the West in Hampstead, one of the most vibrant artistic communities in London.

Paul Bevan is Departmental Lecturer in Modern Chinese Literature and Culture at the University of Oxford.

Anne Witchard is Reader in English Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of Westminster.

Da Zheng is Professor Emeritus of English at Suffolk University, Boston.


Sarah Cheang is Head of Programme in History of Design at the Royal College of Art, London. 

Craig Clunas is Professor Emeritus of the History of Art at the University of Oxford.

Paul French is the author of the books Midnight in Peking and City of Devils: A Shanghai Noir. 

Ke Ren is Assistant Professor of Chinese/East Asian History at the College of the Holy Cross (Massachusetts). 

Tessa Thorniley is an independent researcher whose work focuses on writers of Chinese heritage who have lived and worked in Britain. 

Frances Wood is the retired Curator of the Chinese Collections in the British Library. 

Diana Yeh is Associate Dean of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the School of Arts and Social Sciences, City University of London, and Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Culture, and the Creative Industries in the Department of Sociology.

‘The collected essays convey a striking portrait of a community of Chinese intellectuals in England during World War II and how it interacted with cultural elites in London and elsewhere both as artists and as anti-fascist activists. As a whole, the volume makes significant points about how people claim status as “authentic” interpreters of a cultural tradition, a process that can pit friends against each other.’ —Kristin Stapleton, The University at Buffalo, SUNY

‘In this delightful collection of essays, a team of experts in literature, history, and the arts bring to light a world of literary interconnectedness and wartime collaboration seldom explored in scholarship. The perfect resource for anyone who values the humanistic common ground between the East and the West.’ —Jenny H. Day, Skidmore College


The China Story (25 August 2022) - Ten Questions for Authors: Chiang Yee and His Circle