Updated: 2013-06-25 03:53
By Sun Ye and Mei Jia (China Daily)
Yi Zhongtian's popularity provides opportunities to give lectures in schools and at public events. Provided to China Daily
Meng Yanhong, a professor of Chinese history with Renmin University of China, has a similar observation.
"Most reading materials on Chinese history, especially schoolbooks, are far from satisfactory. They don't tell the past naturally or as it is, " Meng says.
A series of history books, All About the Ming Dynasty, was very popular, selling more than 10 million copies since they were released in 2006.
The series is an example of how history can be told with color and personality, Fang says.
There are already plans afoot to adapt Yi's books into animations and comic books, says Guomai's Lu.
"We are even thinking of a theme park based on Yi's Chinese history books," Lu adds.
Yet, it's still too early to toast to success.
Fang has read Yi's first two books. He says Yi's style is simple and fluent, and will attract the public's attention. But the work is not his best.
He says readers should take Yi's writings with a grain of salt. "His books are easy to read, but they can easily develop into fiction when there is no historical record."
Yi says his counseling team collected material and sometimes argued over his viewpoints. But he said that the research and writing are all his own.
Fang, the history professor, says, "We need reliable history told from more angles, new visions and more competing ideas."