The ESU Kansas City Branch and the Kansas City Public Library co-sponsored a fascinating lecture by distinguished author and historian Lady Julia Boyd (above) as part of the ESU's Evelyn Wrench Lecture Series on April 17, 2013. This was the last stop for Lady Boyd after a 9-city lecture tour in the Midwest. Approximately, 85-90 attended the lecture. A wine reception preceded the lecture. She answered questions from the audience after the lecture followed by a book signing of her new book, A Dance with the Dragon, The Vanished World of Peking's Foreign Colony.
The Kansas City Branch hosted a small dinner party for Julia after the lecture at the Grand Street Café. The following day, Julia, Julie Robinson and Jeff Schnabel were taken on a personal tour of the world-renowned Chinese Art Collection at the Nelson-Atkins museum by the Ass't. Curator of Chinese Art, Ling-en Lu. After the museum tour, the group was treated to lunch in the museum's Rozelle Court, compliments of the Head Curator of Chinese Art, Colin McKenzie, who was unable to join the group as he was in China on behalf of the museum. Ling-en Lu presented Julia with a beautiful photo book of the museum's various art collections, again courtesy of the museum. The entire Nelson-Atkins museum visit was the highlight of Julia's visit to Kansas City as its Chinese Art collection is world-famous and the museum's archivist had previously provided Julia copies of historical documents as part of her extensive research on her book.
Lady Boyd is a former governor of the English-Speaking Union of the Commonwealth and former Chairman of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Council. She is married to Sir John Boyd, a lifelong diplomat who has served as British Ambassador to Japan, Chairman of the British Museum, Chairman of the Royal Shakespeare Company and Master of Churchill College, Cambridge University. Sir John and Lady Boyd have traveled widely in Asia. They have five children and live in London and on their sheep farm in England's Lake District.
Her lecture tour in the U.S. was based on her new book which draws a dazzling portrait of an eclectic foreign community and of China itself, one that is essential in understanding China and its attitude to foreigners today—a magnificent story, never before told, by Lady Julia Boyd who is one of literary London's great storytellers.