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Narrative of the Earl of Elgin's mission to China and Japan in the years 1857, '58, '59.Edinburgh, William Blackwood and Sons, 1859. 2 volumes. 8vo. With 20 chromolithographed plates, 50 wood-engravings in text and 5 engraved folding maps. Contemporary gold-tooled green morocco, richly gold-tooled spine.
Cordier, Sinica, col. 2376; Wang, Chopsticks, pp. 150-151. First edition of a highly entertaining combination of travel writing and diplomatic history. It describes the diplomatic missions of the Earl of Elgin to China and Japan in 1857-1859, which ended in various treaties opening the countries to the British. In his capacity as private secretary to Lord Elgin, Oliphant was present at all the major events and published his account of the brazen gunboat diplomacy immediately after his return to Great-Britain. Besides witnessing the bombardment of Canton and the siege of Tientsin, Oliphant also gives vivid accounts of life and events in China and Japan, including his delights in eating with chopsticks. With an owner's stamp "Joseph O. Buch" at the back of the first flyleaf in both volumes. Minor foxing in the plates and a tear in the frontispiece of vol. 1 repaired with tape. Binding chafed at the extremities, hinges with some cracks and tops of the spines damaged. Otherwise in good condition. A beautifully bound edition of a highly entertaining travelogue.
      [Bookseller: Antiquariaat FORUM BV]
Last Found On: 2017-06-22           Check availability:      Biblio    


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