Frances Wood

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For other people named Frances Wood, see Frances Wood (disambiguation).
Frances Wood (standing) with Russian Tangutologist Ksenia Kepping in March 2001
from the BBC programme In Our Time, 24 May 2012.[1]

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Frances Wood (Chinese name Wú Fāngsī 吴芳思; born 1948) is an English librarian, sinologue and historian known for her writings on Chinese history, including Marco Polo, life in the Chinese treaty ports, and the First Emperor of China. She has argued in her 1995 book, Did Marco Polo go to China?, that the book of Marco Polo (Il Milione) is not the account of a single person, but is a collection of travellers' tales. In May 2012, she appeared on In Our Time on Radio Four, talking about Marco Polo. In December 2012 she appeared on the Christmas University Challenge special as a member of the Newnham College, Cambridge team.

Biography[edit]

Wood was born in London in the 1948, and went to art school in Liverpool in 1967, before going to Newnham College, Cambridge University where she studied Chinese. She went to China to study Chinese at Peking University in 1975–1976.[2]

Wood joined the staff of the British Library in London in 1977 as a junior curator, and later served as Curator of Chinese collections until her retirement in 2013.[3][4] She is also a member of the Steering Committee of the International Dunhuang Project,[5] and the editor of the Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society.[3] She was also a Governor of Ashmount Primary School for 20 years. relinguishing this post on the completion of her current term of offfice in July 2014.

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