The Birth of the Modern contains some odd names, but the oddest so far is Mountstuart Elphinstone (1779-1859), who was a British colonial administrator in India and elsewhere in the region.
In other interesting tidbits: "The Chinese government made its opinions of Westerners and their morals public . . . by enforcing petty restrictions that, for instance, prevented Westerners from using rickshaws except when it was raining."
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Yesterday's gale has blown out to sea, and our basement is only a little bit wet, so that's something. Apparently streets were flooding, roofs were leaking, mess was happening all over town. I'm glad I stayed inside and read and wrote and sewed.
I've been working on a couple of poems . . . one of them sheer silliness, the other more substantial. Sometimes it's refreshing to use poetry as comic relief: and in this case, I've been recasting Genesis from the point of view of rats. Of course it's a very small Genesis because rats aren't as big as people.