Studies the history, creation and conservation of the Diamond Sutra
The Diamond Sutra is the world's earliest dated printed book. It was produced some 600 years before Gutenberg's movable type printing in Europe, and is clearly the product of a mature printing industry in China. This new book describes the discovery of the Sutra by Sir Aurel Stein in May 1907 in a hidden cave on the edge of the Gobi desert. The book discusses in-depth the invention of paper in China and the origins of Far Eastern printing as well as the content of the Sutra. It reveals how it was made, before considering the condition of the Sutra, including the recent extensive conservation work. The book also contains a full reproduction of the Sutra.
'a crisply written, finely illustrated, general-interest guide'
Andrew Robinson, Bookdealer
Frances Wood is Head of the Chinese section at the British Library. Her previous publications include 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 Peking: My Part in the Cultural Revolution (2000), The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia (2003), The First Emperor of China (2008) and The Lure of China (2009).
Mark Barnard is Manager of the Conservation Section at the British Library. He is currently undertaking the conservation of the Diamond Sutra.