Travelogues from Yunnan

The article ”Among bandits and tigers in Yunnan” is an authentic travelogue, except for the headlines which were added by the editorial staff at Shanghai Modern. It dates to July 1922 and was sent by the Danish woman Sophie Jensen to her family on Fyn.

In 1915, Sophie Jessen travelled to Beijing to marry her betrothed Frederik Jensen. He was a consulting mining engineer, causing the couple to travel widely in China and what is now known as northern Vietnam. And so they travelled from Beijing to the Vietnamese city of Haiphong in 1922 and from there with the newly built French railroad into China's southwestern province of Yunnan.

1920s and 30s Yunnan was heavily marked by the lawlessness that had followed the dissoluation China was experiencing, something that heavily marked Sophie's letters home. Nevertheless, it's also clear that the white lead a privileged life in many ways with an almost unbelievable servant staff and even slaves. On occassion Sophie's letters let it slip that she was carried in a palanquin in those situations where she says they ”walked”. In truth, it was only the servants who walked.

Sophie and Frederik Jensen had three children in 1916, 1917 and 1925 respectively. They lived in China until their return to Denmark in 1936.

The headline of the article mentions tigers. Yunnan was known for its large number of tigers and in one place, Sophie mentions the use of tiger pelts as gifts.

The letters are in the private ownership of Sophie Jensen's descendants.

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