Barrow's Travels in China

Barrow's Travels in China : An Investigation into the Origin and Authenticity of the 'Facts and Observations' Related in a Work Entitled 'Travels in China by John Barrow, F.R.S.'

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William Jardine Proudfoot (c.1804-1887) published his critique of Sir John Barrow's Travels in China (1804; also reissued in this series) with the agenda of exposing the latter as unreliable and unjust. Barrow had accompanied Lord Macartney on the first British mission to the Chinese Imperial Court (1792-4), in a party that also included the official astronomer, Dr James Dinwiddie, Proudfoot's grandfather. Comparing Barrow's account to that found in other records, Proudfoot concludes that the earlier work was 'a great humbug', ascribing to Barrow the 'powerful motive' of self-promotion. In a work full of vitriol against its subject, Proudfoot's concern is to honour the memory of the mission's members, whom he felt Barrow belittled and vilified, and also to point out factual inaccuracies, accusing him of seeking amusement rather than truth in his anecdotes. Read alongside Barrow's work, it makes for an interesting, scornful, and often entertaining more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139178628
  • 9781139178624

Table of contents

Preface; Preliminary Inquiry: 'Powerful motive'; Claims to science; Do-nothings of the embassy; 'Lot of few to go to Pekin'; Palace of Yuen-min-yuen; Diodati, interpreter at the palace; 'Serious charge; Emperor's birth-day; Old eunuch; Old eunuch; October 1st; Parodies on Lord McCartney; Dismissal of the embassy; Investigations of 'Facts and Observations': Sentiments on the 'facts and observations' extracted from the Travels; Eclipse at Tonchoo; Scorpions at Tonchoo; 'Canton Ulcer'; 'Foreign Devils'; 'Want of fellow-felling'; Inhumanity, 1st illustration; Inhumanity, 2nd illustration; Inhumanity, 3rd illustration; Ill-treatment of women; Vessel upset on rice mill; Specimens of exaggeration illustrating the capabilities of the 'motive'; Rash assertions good enough for 'facts'; Poyang Lake and Barrow Swamps; Sandy Islands of the Poyang; 'Sink of China'; Lake Cining; Barrow Swamps of Shantong; 'Immense aqueduct'; Grand Canal; Grand Canal - the Comptroller's 'Endeavour'; Uniform of Kiangnan; Soochoo beauties; Lake Taihoo; Trifing notabilia; Shingmoo confounded with Poosa; Parker's lens; Gardens of Yuen-min-yuen; Pedestrian feat; Glacis on Grand Canal; Accommodation Bay; Chinese roads; Specimens of remarkable observations; Cannon; Whims of Pechelee; Waste lands; Civilities to the embassy; Barrow's journal; Engraved representation of lion; Amusing anecodtes of the 'Authentic Account' improved on and rendered worthless by Barrow; Unassailable incidents; Mysterious adventures; Palatial incidents; Barrow versus Staunton: Official volumes; Keeto whirlpool; Cholera morbus; Visit to Tinghai; Chinese pilots; First impressions; Country on the Pyho; Soil around Pekin; Barrow versus the official maps: Geographical and statistical contradictions; Blundering in dates; Bungling; Lord McCartney's journal: Bears marks of having been improperly dealt with; Opportunities for information: comptroller never at a loss; Retrospect: inquiry finished; Conclusion: inconsistencies of the 'interesting episode' more