Paperback / softback
October 10, 2003
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.40 Inches (US)
1.76 Pounds (US)
$38.99 USD, £24.99 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Lady Named Thunder

A Biography of Dr. Ethel Margaret Phillips (1876–1951)

Dr. Margaret Phillips was a pioneering missionary who served in China at a time when women were usually dutiful wives, and certainly not unmarried "suffragist" medical doctors. Educated at Manchester University, she spent 43 years in China with a special mission to improve the health and circumstances of women, fight tuberculosis, and heal sick children. Overlapping the era in which the Imperial system collapsed, China was invaded and occupied by Japan, and the Communist revolution began, the life story of Margaret Phillips reflects the great events that transformed China in the first half of the 20th century.

About the Authors

Clifford H. Phillips, also known by his Chinese name, Lei Houtian, was raised from infancy in Beijing. He spent over 20 years in the Far East and lived in Edmonton, Alberta until his death in 2004. Brian L. Evans, CM, studied Chinese and Chinese history at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies and later served with the Canadian Embassy in Beijing. He was Professor of Chinese History at the University of Alberta (1961–1996). In his retirement, Brian Evans devoted himself to recording and preserving the stories of Alberta's Chinese pioneer immigrants. He lived in Edmonton until his death in 2016.


"Warlords, famine, opium scandals, girl child abandonment, collapse of the old Empire, the cruelties of the Japanese occupation, she was there for it all, and raised her child Clifford (her biographer) in Peking. Unlike Canadian Dr. Bethune she did not stay for the communist takeover but her story covers the more interesting time in the history of that troubled mass of people. A bit of a gem for history buffs." Ron McIsaac, Island News

"The Maoist regime in China immortalized the memory of Dr. Norman Bethune for his devotion, sacrifice, and properly leftist ideology, which was free of any religious context. Dr. Phillips worked just as devotedly with the Chinese people, as they struggled through decades of revolution, famine, and war. Her life's work and her own account of these years, recorded in her diaries and letters, and captured in this excellent biography, form a valuable record of a tumultuous half-century in the recent history of China." Merrill Distad (U of A), Bulletin of the Pacific Circle, October issue, No. 13, ISSN 1520-3581

".the book.provides a wealth of detail on Victorian society, women in mission service, and expatriate life in Beijing. As a testimony to one woman's personal legacy, Phillips's book is well worth reading and joins the growing body of literature on women's achievements during the first half of the twentieth century." Linda Benson, International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Vol. 28, No. 4

"The author provides lively vignettes of many of Margaret's cases and her dealing with both the local population and the mission community, as well as her own bouts of serious illness. Later Margaret practised medicine in Beijing; it was during this time that she adopted a baby (the author) from the United States. She survived the Second World War in a Japanese internment camp but died a few years later in England. Margaret Phillips's life spanned a time of considerable political and social upheaval in China, and her daily involvement with patients provides a valuable window into the lives of poor and ordinary Chinese during these changes." University of Toronto Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 1, Winter 2004/5

"This remarkable book celebrates the life achievements of a heretofore largely unknown heroine. Her life offers a window on conditions in China during the 20th century prior to the establishment of the People's Republic. She bested personal illness and major surgery, and somehow found the time and commitment to adopt a young boy when she was 45 years old. Readers should be grateful she did, for he has now told her extraordinary story to the world. This is an outstanding book. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers; undergraduates through faculty; professionals." D. R. Shanklin, University of Chicago

9780888644176 : the-lady-named-thunder-phillips-evans
Paperback / softback
436 Pages
$38.99 USD

Other Titles by Brian L. Evans

The Remarkable Chester Ronning

Brian L. Evans
Oct 2013 - The University of Alberta Press, an imprint of University of Alberta Press
$38.99 USD - Paperback / softback

Pursuing China

Brian L. Evans
Feb 2012 - The University of Alberta Press, an imprint of University of Alberta Press
$38.99 USD - Paperback / softback

The Other Side of Gold Mountain

Brian L. Evans
Jun 2010 - The University of Alberta Press, an imprint of University of Alberta Press
$39.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / General

Brandeis And America

edited by Nelson L. Dawson
Oct 2021 - University Press of Kentucky
$45.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$45.00 USD - Electronic book text

Craftsman of the Cumberlands

Michael Owen Jones
Oct 2021 - University Press of Kentucky
$28.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$28.00 USD - Electronic book text

Engagement with the Past

William Palmer
Oct 2021 - University Press of Kentucky
$60.00 USD - Hardback
$60.00 USD - Electronic book text