Over the past few weeks, BBC Radio 4 has been running a series of mini audio documentaries focusing on key individuals from Chinese history. Entitled “Chinese Characters“, the series is presented by Rana Mitter, Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford University.
Starting with Wu Zetian, the series takes the form of 20 “audio portraits of figures who have shaped the arc of Chinese history”, and includes profiles of “compassionate cynic” Lu Xun, “ambivalent empress” Cixi, “screen warrior” Bruce Lee, and “the man who made modern China” Mao Zedong. The episodes are just under 15 minutes each and generally provide interesting quick-fire introductions to some of China’s most significant figures.
On Friday night (UK time) the Beeb published an hour-long omnibus edition, and further omnibuses combining the previous episodes seem likely. But you can also stream the whole series online here right now, seemingly regardless of whether you’re a British license fee payer or not.
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