4to. xi; ; 632pp. First edition of Barrow’s highly influential work on China. Handsomely rebound in half brown leather with marbled boards. Five raised bands with green label, gilt title and detailing. New endpapers. Deckled edges. Internally an excellent copy. Some mild foxing at the preliminaries, otherwise the entirety of the text is bright and clean. Complete with eight plates as called for (including frontispiece), five of which are hand-coloured. “Barrow accompanied Lord Macartney’s mission to the court of China in 1792 as his private secretary, and the present account of the country, accompanied by a number of fine plates, is one of the best illustrated English travels on China” (Hill). Notable in the text is his description of a number “of Chinese artefacts and novelties. Among these a plate of musical instruments, extensive renditions of Chinese melodies into western notation, and a long description, with illustration, of the abacus” (Hill). It is widely agreed that his writings on China and subsequent works elsewhere in Asia and Africa set a new standard for the travel genre. A scarce, complete first edition in excellent condition.
BARROW, John, Travels in China, containing Descriptions, Observations, and Comparisons, made and collected in the Course of a Short Residence at the Imperial Palace of Yuen-Min-Yuen, and on a subsequent Journey through the Country from Pekin to Canton. In which it is attempted to appreciate the rank that this extraordinary empire may be considered to hold in the scale of civilized nations. Illustrated with several engravings., Printed by A. Strahan, for T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1804
SKU: 034988 Categories: History, Travel Tags: barrow, beijing, British, China, Chinese, colonial, colonialism, comparison, containing, descriptions, Empire, in, John, Lord, macartney, observations, Paul, pekin, peking, travels