M’Leod, John M. D: VOYAGE OF HIS MAJESTY'S SHIP 'ALCESTE'. Along the Coast of Corea to the Island of Lewchew; with an Account of her Subsequent Shipwreck. London, 1818. 8vo, 4 ff., 323 pp., 2 ff. publisher's advertisements, engraved portrait frontispiece and 5 coloured aquatints by J. Clark after W. H. Dwarris. 24x15 cm. New half leather with marbled boards.
M'Leod (d. 1820) was surgeon aboard the frigate 'Alceste', the flagship of the small fleet which accompanied Lord Amherst on the second British embassy to China in 1816. While the ambassador was embroiled in the complicated protocol of seeking an audience with the Jiaqing Emperor, Captain McLeod set sail for the island of Lewchew (Okinawa) in the East China Sea.
Meanwhile, Amherst was failing in his mission to promote better understanding between the two countries, even with the able assistance of Robert Morrison as interpreter. Chinese courtiers persuaded the emperor to detect deep insult in Lord Amherst's delay in presenting his credentials. Actually, the ambassador wanted some time to change into his official dress and to assemble his gifts with due care and attention. The embassy was generally regarded as abortive, because of the difficulty of dealing "with a people so remarkable for their jealousy of foreigners, and want of confidence among themselves." McLeod reunited with the embassy at Canton, but their adventures were not over. On the return journey, the 'Alceste' was wrecked but without loss of life. A small island off the Shantung promontory was renamed Alceste Island in memory of the voyage. Second extended edition. Cordier 2108; Lust 377. Rebound.
Subjects: Rare Books
Item 429 in List 203.
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