Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

An Illustrated Journal by Chinese Artist Chiang Yee

This resource is part of the Museum Snapshot collection - a collection of smaller resources perfect for starters, plenaries or spare moments to explore something fascinating.

Illustration from The Silent Traveller in the Yorkshire Dales - picture of a waterfall, with trees above and below
Illustration from The Silent Traveller in the Yorkshire Dales

The Silent Traveller was written and illustrated by Chiang Yee in 1940. The book was part of a series that Chiang Yee wrote of his travels around the British Isles. The colour and black and white images illustrate the familiar animals and landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales, in a completely new, and unmistakably Chinese style.

Colour illustration of a brown rabbit or hare jumping infront of a rock.
Illustration from The Silent Traveller

Highly educated, Chiang Yee had come from China in 1933 to study at university in London and ended up living and working in England for 20 years. His books on the Dales and the Lake District show his fascination for things that locals might not notice, like beards! World War Two ended his hopes to travel to the rest of Europe and beyond.

Colour illustration showing tall cliffs in the background, with short grass, rocks and boulders and several rabbits  in the foreground.
Illustration from The Silent Traveller


Discussion Ideas

  • In what ways are these pictures 'unmistakably Chinese'?
  • Why might Chiang have called his series of books 'The Silent Traveller'?
  • What different methods do travellers use to record their thoughts about what they see today?
  • The Yorkshire Dales National Park attracts visitors from all over the world like Chiang Yee because of its beautiful landscape. Walkers and climbers enjoy the physical challenges of its many walks and climbs. Do you think it is important to have spaces like this in our country? Why?
  • What was happening in Britain at the time Chiang Yee was writing this book?


Activity Ideas

  • Books like this that record thoughts about a place as well as illustrations are sometimes called 'journals'. They are a good way of remembering how you feel about a place. Write your own diary or journal for one week. It could be for example a record of your thoughts going to school each day.
  • Collect 'reminders' of your journey like tickets or sweet wrappers that you can stick in your journal.