The Writing on the Wall: Chinese and Japanese Immigration to BC, 1920

By Hilda Glynn-Ward Introduction by Patricia E. Roy

© 1974

With tales of a gruesome murder, a typhoid epidemic, corrupt politicians, and a Japanese invasion, The Writing on the Wall was intended to shock its readers when it was published in 1921. Thinly disguised as a novel, it is a propaganda tract exhorting white British Columbians to greater vigilance to prevent greedy politicians from selling out to the Chinese and Japanese. It was also designed to convince eastern Canada of British Columbia's need for protections against an onslaught of the 'yellow peril.'

This novel is not exceptional in its extreme racism; it reiterates almost every anti-oriental cliché circulating in British Columbia at the time of its publication. While modern readers will find the story horrifying and unbelievable, it is in fact based on real incidents. Many of the views expressed were only exaggerated versions of ideas held throughout the country about non-Anglo-Saxon immigrants. The Writing on the Wall is a vivid illustration of the fear and prejudice with which immigrants were regarded in the early twentieth century.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 150 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
Product Formats

SaveUP TO 9239

Book Formats

SKU# SP003136

  • PUBLISHED JAN 2010

    From: $27.71

    Regular Price: $36.95

    ISBN 9781442611351
  • PUBLISHED DEC 2010

    From: $26.21

    Regular Price: $34.95

Quick Overview

The Writing on the Wall is a vivid illustration of the fear and prejudice with which immigrants were regarded in the early twentieth century.

The Writing on the Wall: Chinese and Japanese Immigration to BC, 1920

By Hilda Glynn-Ward Introduction by Patricia E. Roy

© 1974

With tales of a gruesome murder, a typhoid epidemic, corrupt politicians, and a Japanese invasion, The Writing on the Wall was intended to shock its readers when it was published in 1921. Thinly disguised as a novel, it is a propaganda tract exhorting white British Columbians to greater vigilance to prevent greedy politicians from selling out to the Chinese and Japanese. It was also designed to convince eastern Canada of British Columbia's need for protections against an onslaught of the 'yellow peril.'

This novel is not exceptional in its extreme racism; it reiterates almost every anti-oriental cliché circulating in British Columbia at the time of its publication. While modern readers will find the story horrifying and unbelievable, it is in fact based on real incidents. Many of the views expressed were only exaggerated versions of ideas held throughout the country about non-Anglo-Saxon immigrants. The Writing on the Wall is a vivid illustration of the fear and prejudice with which immigrants were regarded in the early twentieth century.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Heritage
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 150 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    Hilda Glynn-Ward was the literary pseudonym of Mrs Hilda G. Howard (1887-1966). Of Welsh birth, she came to Canada in 1910 and spent most of her life on southern Vancouver Island. She was a prolific writer of prose and poetry, and her best known work is The Glamour of British Columbia, a travel book published in 1926.



    Patricia E. Roy is a professor emeritus of the Department of History at the University of Victoria.