Special Event

SOFA, Fuzhou Lu

RAS Monograph Launch – The Classical Gardens of Shanghai

Author: Shelly Bryant

In The Classical Gardens of Shanghai, Shelly Bryant looks at five of Shanghai’s remaining classical gardens through their origins, changing fortunes, restorations, and links to a wider Chinese aesthetic.

Shanghai’s classical gardens are as much text as space; they exist in art, poetry, and literature as much as in stone, rock, and earth. But these gardens have not remained static entities. Rather, they have been remodeled constantly since their inception.

This book reflects this process within the constancy of traditional Chinese horticulture, and reveals Shanghai’s remaining classical gardens as places representing wealth and social status, social and dynamic shifts through falling family fortunes and political revolutions to search for a recovery of China’s ancient culture in the modern day.

‘Like a classical garden, this admirably and beautifully balanced book conjures up wider landscapes from within a small compass. It can be savoured on many levels: poetic and aesthetic, no les than scholarly and intellectual. It is the next best thing to being guided through such gardens by Shelly Bryant herself.” – Lynn Pan, author of When True Love Came to China


Shelly Bryant, a poet, translator, teacher, researcher and writer, splits her time between Singapore and Shanghai. She is the author of six poetry collections and two travel guides, and has translated more than ten books from Chinese to English.

RSVP: bookings@royalasiaticsociety.org.cn