Lander, Sarah W: SPECTACLES FOR YOUNG EYES: PEKIN. Boston, 1863. 218 pp. Frontispiece, decorative title page, 20 b/w text drawings, 2 small b/w engravings in text and 4 full b/w page engravings. 17x11 cm. Green cloth, stamped blind and gilt. Slightly rubbed.
A distinct curiosity. The book is one in a series of (presumably fictional) travelogues for young readers under the general title: Spectacles for Young Eyes. The story is of an American trader/businessman, Mr. Hamilton, and his family living in St. Petersburg (!) who, for business reasons, go on a prolonged trip across Siberia to Peking. The story covers the family crossing Siberia and the majority of the book focuses on their impressions of China, based in Peking. The book was written just after the 1860 British-French expedition to Peking, when western knowledge of China was still very sparse, although the author evidently knew something about the subject. From our modern perspective, the book fascinates precisely because of its limited knowledge. The text drawings are distinctly Japanese in feel and the full page engravings, whilst definitely Chinese in subject, are probably taken from an earlier book - possibly Fortune's work of 1844. The book claims that the illustrations are from original drawings taken on the spot. Did the author visit China/Peking? If not, what was the source of the story? A highly rare piece of Peking ephemera. Spine a little worn, otherwise in good condition.
Subjects: Rare Books Beijing
Out of stock, as of: 21/09/2017
Was item 418 in printed List 188.
Record produced by Hanshan Tang Books, www.hanshan.com.