The Growth of the City series looks at the history of important world cities, charting their growth and changing fortunes from earliest times through to today. Using contemporary maps, paintings, etchings, woodcuts, and photographs, the series provides a visual appreciation of each city's growth.
It also looks at the difficulties so many cities find in the way of prosperity - most often external forces in the form of military invasion or bombardment, but also the devastating natural killers - fire, flood, plague, or earthquake. Situated on the banks of the Yangtze River delta, Shanghai is China's largest city - the eighth largest in the world.
The city saw major growth in the 19th century, its strategic position making it an ideal location for trade with the West.
Shanghai is still one of the world's busiest ports - it became the largest cargo port in the world in 2005. One of China's most important cultural, commercial, financial, industrial, and communications centres, it is characterised by its vibrant architecture.
About the Author
In 1986 Joan Waller was invited to teach as a foreign expert at Wuhu Normal University; after two years teaching English there, she moved to Yunnan University, in Kunming, for two further years before moving to Hong Kong where she worked for the British Council in 1990-93. Throughout her time in China she travelled extensively, and since leaving has gone back frequently.
She has written for English language magazines and textbooks in China, and has kept up-to-date with the country's recent development. Her collection of everyday artefacts from China is to form the basis of a wider collection at Birmingham Museum.