One day we asked a Kweichow man who had attached himself uninvited to our company, when we might hope to see the sunshine! He took a long time to answer the question... the summary... was that under the old Imperial regime things were fixed, and you could count upon them-but under a Republic you could be sure of nothing! -from "The Province of Y nnan" "My rooted conviction is that the future of the world depends largely on what happens in China during the next decade," author Kemp boldly states in the Introduction to her 1921 travelogue of China, and her largely accurate prediction is part of why this insightful book deserves a new, contemporary readership. A British woman abroad in Asia at that time was hardly the expected thing, but in the course of her six-month journey through thirteen provinces in China, her perceptive eye captures the meeting of ancient and modern in a nation desperately scrambling to catch up with the outside world. From the legacy of the opium trade and the impact of Western religious missionaries on China's mythic culture to the astonishing efficiency of the new postal system and ominous rumblings of nearby Japan's threatening militarism, this is an invaluable glimpse at one of the world's most populous and powerful nations at the precarious period between the Imperial and Communist eras, and it will fascinate any student of 20th-century Asian history. E. G. KEMP also wrote The Face of China and Wanderings in Chinese Turkestan.