William Dolby

Classical Chinese Translations and Research

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13. Mr Ma and son in London


Book Details

This original version depicted above was self-published in 2003 and is no longer available. This work represents the 13th of 33 of the Chinese Culture Series.

In 2013 Penguin Australia and Beijing published the work as titled, Lao She, Mr Ma and Son, with an Introduction by Julia Lovell, Senior Lecturer in Chinese History and Literature at the University of London. 

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (7 Aug. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014320811X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143208112

Whilst this work of 2014 is no longer in print, we are working hard to find out if we can republish this version, or indeed of the self-published edition of 2003.

Please contact us on availablity of this work

As taken from the back of the original self-published 2003 edition of the book:

Written in London in 1929, this novel, by Lao She, China’s supreme writer of Chinese prose in modern times, is the only one to depict the early meeting of Chinese and Western cultures on a personal level. It tells how an elderly Chinese man and his young son come to London and run their business, and how they interact with the native environment and people, in a moving, romantic, humorous way, telling us so much about Chinese and British attitudes.


As taken from the back of the 2013 Penguin edition of the book:

Mr Ma and his son Ma Wei run an antiques shop nestled in a quiet street by St. Paul’s cathedral in London, where, far from their native Peking, they struggle to navigate the bustling pavements and myriad of social conventions of 1920s English society.

From their well-meaning landlady Mrs Wedderburn and her carefree daughter Mary, to the old China hands the Reverend Ely and his formidable wife, the Mas encounter all sorts in this story of unexpected love, crossed wires and antipathy.

A major contribution to the early twentieth-century conversation on Sino-British relations, Mr Ma and Son, is a compelling, witty tale of cultural give-and-take from one of China’s best-loved authors.