Chinese Fantastics – Thomas Steep (1925) (1st ed)


Chinese Fantastics – Thomas Steep (1925) (1st ed)


Amusing, and perhaps politically incorrect, tales of China. With a short chapter on Singapore.

Title: Chinese Fantastics

Author: Thomas Steep

Publisher: The Century Co., New York, 1925. First edition.

Condition: Hardcover, no dust jacket. Fair. Significant foxing to title page, and some foxing and tanning elsewhere. Small in-text illustrations. Deckle edges. 223pp., app. 8.5″ by 5.5″.

SKU: chinesefantastics Categories: , , Tag:

Humorous and lighthearted observations about China and the Chinese, often making comparisons between China and Europe, such as this:

“Before I went to the Far East I knew that the people on ‘the other side of the lantern’ did many things which to us seemed the reverse of what was rational and proper.

I knew that they read a book from the back forward and put their foot-notes at the top of the page, not at the bottom; that they locked a door by turning the key to the left, not to the right; that on entering a house they took off their foot-gear, not their head-gear; that when they greeted a friend they shook their own hand, not his; that they drained a web umbrella handle downward, not upward; that in sewing they pushed the needle from them, not toward them; that they struck a match toward them, not away from them; that they ate dessert before meals, not after;….”


  1. Interpreting the Orient
  2. Pidgin-English and Oriental Conversation
  3. Topsyturvydom
  4. A Little Realism
  5. Down the Yangtze
  6. Glimpses of Life
  7. Bits of Old China
  8. Dragons and Dragonries
  9. Little Tales of Tragedy and Humor
  10. Rickshaw Boys
  11. Fans
  12. Jade
  13. Names of China
  14. Foreign Devils
  15. Pigtails
  16. Chop-suey
  17. Chinese woman
  18. The Woman that Henpecked a Nation
  19. Through a Window
  20. The “Boy Emperor”
  21. The Great Wall of China
  22. Pirates and Typhoons
  23. Tsingtao
  24. Shadows
  25. Singapore
  26. In a Theater
  27. Kudan, the Pipe-Seller