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About the book
  • Published: 1 August 2002
  • ISBN: 9781860466014
  • Imprint: Harvill Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $39.99

Wise Man Of The West




An elegantly written history and biography of one man's determination to bring his religion to China and its Emperor.

Matteo Ricci was a Jesuit who was sent as the order's first missionary to China in 1582. Although he spent nearly thirty years in China and died in Beijing in 1610, Ricci had only very limited success in persuading the Chinese of the truths of Christianity. However, in addition to his bible, Ricci also carried with him much of the accumulated scientific and mathematical knowledge of late Renaissance Europe. To this the mandarin classes were much more receptive. Ricci learnt Chinese in order to be able better to discuss religious and scientific issues with the intellectuals of the country; he wrote books in Chinese; he even began to dress like one of the mandarins. Vincent Cronin's book is both a superbly written biography of a remarkable man and a fascinating account of the first fully documented encounter between the two very different cultures of East and West.










  • Pub date: 1 August 2002
  • ISBN: 9781860466014
  • Imprint: Harvill Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $39.99

About the Author

Vincent Cronin

Vincent Cronin was educated at Ampleforth College, Harvard University, and Trinity College, Oxford, from which he graduated with honours in 1947. In addition to being a recipient of a W.H. Heinemann Award (1955) and a Rockefeller Foundation Award (1958), Cronin is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His works have been widely translated into European languages. He died in January 2011, aged 86.

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