The Taiping Rebellion was one of the costliest civil wars in human history. Tens of millions of people lost their lives, as Chinese rebels, imperial armies, and local militias clashed across the Yangzi Delta. Yet while the Rebellion has been intensely studied, we still know little of how individuals coped with these cataclysmic events.
Drawing upon a rich array of primary sources, What Remains explores the issues that preoccupied Chinese and Western survivors. Individuals, families, and communities grappled with fundamental questions of loyalty and loss as they struggled to rebuild shattered cities, bury the dead, and make sense of the horrors that they had witnessed.
Driven by compelling accounts of raw emotion and deep injury, What Remains opens a window to a world described by survivors themselves. By making a place for individual pain, moral and political confusion, religiosity, and emotions, this book transforms our understanding of China's 19th century and re-contextualizes suffering and loss in China during the 20th century.