Dr Frances Wood 吴瑞芳

Frances Wood is head of the Chinese department at the British Library. Having studied Chinese at the universities of Cambridge, London and Peking, her publications include Did Marco Polo Go To China? (1996), The Silk Road (2003), The First Emperor (2007), and The Diamond Sutra (2010) Wood was born in London in 1948, and went to art school in Liverpool in 1967, before going to Newnham College, Cambridge University where she studied Chinese. She went to China to study Chinese at Peking University in 1975–1976. Wood joined the staff of the British Library in London in 1977 as a junior curator, and later served as Curator of Chinese collections until her retirement in 2013. She is also a member of the Steering Committee of the International Dunhuang Project, and the editor of the Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society. She was also a Governor of Ashmount Primary School for 20 years. A well-influential argument raised by Dr Frances Wood in her 1995 book was, ‘Did Marco Polo go to China?’ She thinks that the book of Marco Polo (Il Milione) was not the account of a single person, but was a collection of travellers' tales. In May 2012, she appeared on In Our Time on Radio Four, talking about Marco Polo; she appeared again in the 2015 episode on Chinese legalism. In December 2012 she appeared on the Christmas University Challenge special as a member of the Newnham College, Cambridge team. She has written a number of books on Chinese history and culture, including Stones of the Wall 1986 (a translation of a novel by Dai Houying), The Blue Guide to China (1990, 2002), Did Marco Polo Go To China? (1995), No Dogs and Not Many Chinese: Treaty Port life in China 1843-1943, (1998), Hand Grenade Practice in China: my part in the Cultural Revolution (2000), The Diamond Sutra: the story of the world’s earliest dated printed book (2010), Picnics Prohibited: diplomacy in a chaotic China during the First World War (2014), and contributed to other works including (with Andrew Lo, Wang Tz’u-cheng and Song Jiayu) Export Paintings in the British Library (2011). 吴芳思是大英图书馆中国部主任。她曾在剑桥、伦敦和北京大学学习中文,出版关于中国历史与文化的著作包括《马可•波罗到过中国吗?》(1995)、《没有狗也没有太多的中国人:1843年至1943年中国的通商口岸生活》(2000)、《丝绸之路:亚洲中心的两千年》(2003)、《紫禁城》(2005)、《中国第一个皇帝》(2007)和《“金刚经”:世界上最早的印刷书籍的故事》(2010)等。她在《马可•波罗到过中国吗?》一书展开讨论,宣传马可•波罗的故事不是一个人的记录,而是一系列旅行者的故事。 吴芳思在1977年开始大英图书馆的工作,后来担任中国收藏馆馆长直至2013年退休。她是国际敦煌项目督导委员会成员和东方陶瓷学会交流编辑。