Footprints of Edward Selby Little and the Third Great Development of Lushan/1
Lushan: Birthplace of Chinese Nursing Association (CNA)/21
Born in Lushan: British Literary Master Mervyn Peake/29
Kiwi Fruit in New Zealand: Origin in Lushan /38
Kuling Chefoo School: Ups and Downs in China /41
Ruth Werner: a Legendary Communist Spy Ruth Werner and Lushan/51
Heroic Deeds of Foreigners in the Defense of Lushan/61
Rev. Roots, His Daughter Francis and the Lushan Suite/81
Three Generations of Guinnesses in Kuling/102
Lv Bicheng: Miscellaneous Notes in Lushan/107
Hilary Spurling: Double Visits to Lushan/116
My Stay in Lushan/139
Footprints of Edward Selby Little and the Third Great Development of Lushan
“A mountain looms firmly over the Great River”, this verse,which is from Mao Zedong’s poem Climbing Lushan, portrays the view of Lushan from a distance: the “mountain” refers to Lushan, which is located in the East of Jiangxi Province while the “River” refers to the Changjiang River. Another verse “I climb 4 hundred bends to its green lush peak” of course, is a close-up of the 1470-meter-high mountain, which boasts its natural beauty, rich history and versatile cultural heritage.
In the folktale, Lushan originated from a mountain named Lishan Mountain, part of which was driven southward by Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor in China with a magical whip, and stopped in Jiangxi Province. Emperor Qin left 99 whips on the mountain, thus creating 99 valleys and peaks in Lushan.
Overlooking the southern bank of the Changjiang River, Lushan occupies an area of 302 square kilometers. It is known as “wonderland for hermits”, while permanently shrouding clouds add to its mystery. Needlessly to mention approximately 300 Buddhist and Taoist temples scattering around Kuling, the mountain town was amazement enough. About 600 houses and churches of various styles—from western-style villa, gothic watchtower to Japanese-style garden—rivals for attention.
What accounts for the different architecture styles? The story traces back to 1983, when a foreigner suggested to her accompanying official that given Mr. Little, creator of Kuling town, had developed and managed Lushan since 1895, she would like to have a memorial or pavilion set up in memory of his contributions. This foreigner, as it turned out, was Mr. Little’s great granddaughter.
This leads to the next mystery: who is Mr. Little? Even Lushan locals aren’t familiar with his names, let alone outsiders. According to A Dictionary of Names of Contemporary Foreigners in China compiled by the Institute of Modern Chinese History of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, “Edward Selby Little(1886-) was a British businessman. He arrived in China in 1886. He was elected three times as a board director of Shanghai Municipal Council and also a founder of Brunner, Mond and Co.,Ltd. In the revolution of 1911, he urged the Qing government to negotiate with the Revolutionary Party. From 1921 to 1923 he was assigned trade commissioner in China by Australian government.” But, this item was an imcomplete profile of Mr. Little； neither his accurate birth date (1886 is his arrival date in China) nor his involvement with Lushan was mentioned. Still, more mysteries wait to be explored and exposed.
Lushan has experienced three major developments. The first development dates back to as early as the Zhou dynasty. According to ancient legend, 7 Kuang brothers went to seek immorality in the wild. They built a thatched hut on a mountain, which was later called Kuang Mountain or Kuanglu (Kuang is the brothers’ family name, Lu means hut in Chinese). Another legend goes that in the Zhou dynasty, a Taoist master Fang Fu, along with Lau-Tzu, father of Taoism rode to the mountains on white donkeys. After they gained immortality, they flew to the heaven, leaving an empty hut behind. This mountain was thus called Mount Lu (or Lushan: Lu means hut in Chinese； Shan Means mountain or hill in Chinese). Reputed for these legends, the clear water and green mountains, Lushan had attracted numerous scholars and men of letters, as well as Buddhist masters and Taoist masters to seek reclusion here. Hence, Lushan was renowned as a reclusive wonderland.
The second development originated from Buddhist master Huiyuan, the founder of the Donglin Temple in Eastern Jin dynasty. Huiyuan was born in Loufan County, Yuanmen City (now Yuanping City in Shanxi Province). He was initially trained in Confucianism and Taoism until he heard the preach of Buddhist Sutra by the monk Dao An and was thus enlightened and converted into Buddhism. He first stayed in the Xilin Temple in Lushan； then he founded Donglin Temple, where he created the Pure Land School, which taught that, by uttering the name of the transcendent Buddha Amitabha in devout adoration, one is guaranteed a heavenly abode in the Western Paradise for his spirit after death. He also combined some Taoist and Confucius thoughts into his Buddhist teaching. Xie Lingyun, the poet who admired him and helped dig two lotus ponds in his temple. So, his school was also known as White Lotus Sect. Thanks to his efforts, Lushan became a Buddhist center in southern China, attracting flocks of monks, officials and pilgrims. Hence Lushan was renowned as a religious mountain.
On the UNESCO website, Lushan was described as “one of the spiritual centers of Chinese civilization. Buddhist and Taoist temples, along with landmarks of Confucianism, where the most eminent masters taught, blend effortlessly into a strikingly beautiful landscape which has inspired countless artists who developed the aesthetic approach to nature found in Chinese culture.”(http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/778)
Lushan remained a religious and reclusive mountain for more than 3,000 years, until in Tang dynasty, education started to sprout and blossom here. Li Bo, who later became a governor of Jiujiang , used to study in White Deer Grotto Academy and Qixian Temple, where he fed and trained a white deer. He was thus called Mr. Bailu (Bailu means white deer in Chinese). Gradually White Deer Grotto Academy and Qixian Temple had become renowned schools.
In the Northern Song dynasty, Confucius scholar Zhou Dunyi resigned office and set up “Lianxi School” at the foot of Lotus Peak in Lushan, where he led a reclusive life and trained students. He also wrote the famous essay “Ode to the Lotus Flowers” there. Later, philosopher and educator Zhu Xi took in students and preached in White Deer Grotto Academy. Students in pursuit of knowledge and fame flooded in, crowded at the foot of Lushan and recited diligently to the rhythm of Confucius classics. With his efforts, White Deer Grotto Academy had ranked first among four famous academies in ancient China, whose influence even spilled over to neighboring countries. This marks the peak of educational glory in Lushan.
Nevertheless, Lushan remained a barren and unlivable mountain where remains of ancient temples, destroyed either by fire or dismantling, hidden silently in the wild grass.
Time flew by in relative peace, until 700 years later, a British businessman, sinologist and missionary arrived in Jiujiang after the Second Opium War (1856-1860). On a hot summer day, determined to fulfill his business ambition there. He managed to rent a large area of land in Lushan, though in unlawful means. He then turned Lushan into a summer resort, an ideal land for relaxation and therapy. Indeed, even this foreigner, Edward Selby Little himself might never have imagined that his influence would have been so drastic, so profound and so far-reaching—even today, Lushan tourists benefited from his extraordinary vision.
Edward Little was born in a remote village in Winterbourne Kingston, Britain in 1864. His childhood in the countryside shaped his preference for nature and tranquility. He left his hometown when he was still a teenager. Although he never returned or even claimed inheritance after his father died, he later named all of his houses “Kingston” in remembrance of his hometown.
When he was 20, he went to Cambridge University to study theology and then he moved to California to continue his study. He proposed to Caroline Bate, daughter of a priest, and was later ordained priest of Cucamonga parish and Etiwanda parish. Shortly after, he got married and two years later he was sent by Methodist Church of Southern Virginia to Shanghai, where this young man started his missionary work with great passion.
In 1886, equipped with nothing but a map of the world and a Guide in China written by a missionary, Edward Little and his newly wedded wife Caroline stepped on a totally strange land-China. He soon established himsel