Title: Some Observations Upon The Civilization Of The Western Barbarians, Particularly Of The English, Made During A Residence Of Some Years In Those Parts
Author: Ah Chin Le, John Yester Smythe (trans)
Publisher: unknown, says “published for the proprietor”. 1876. Scarce!
Condition: Hardcover, decorative blue cloth. In good condition: a lot of wear to spine, but boards and interior are good.
The Qing Dynasty sent Ah-Chin-Le, a ‘Mandarin of the First Class, Member of the Enlightened and Exalted CALAO’, to England to investigate ‘the condition of those outside Barbarians respecting whom so little is known’. This book has chapters on their religion, superstitions, history, geography, internal administration, education system, literature, trade, marriages, births and burials; art, architecture and science; amusements, games & spectacles; employment; high-castes; climate, etc of the British.
Review from Google Books:
Through his politically charged and often double edged style, takes down everything he can. In equal parts condemning, bragging, lauding, and making fun, I think he managed to bring everyone involved down a peg or two. I still think, as political treatises go, it is one of the funniest ever written – if not strictly intentionally. If you want a more informed world view and to read a book written from a perspective which is thoroughly unique, check it out. It should probably be required reading in everything from Literature to Political Science.
I. — OF THE RELIGION AND SUPERSTITIONS OF THE ENGLISH
II. — OF THE HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY OF THE ENGLISH
III.— SOME PARTICULARS OF THE INTERNAL ADMINISTRATION
IV. — UPON EDUCATION: A FEW REFLECTIONS
V. — OF THE LITERATURE OF THE ENGLISH
VI. — OF THEIR TRADE, AND REVENUE DERIVED FROM IT
VII. — SOME REMARKS UPON MARRIAGES, BIRTHS, AND BURIALS
VIII. — OF ART, ARCHITECTURE, AND SOME WORDS ABOUT SCIENCE
IX.— OP AMUSEMENTS, GAMES, AND SPECTACLES
X. — OP EMPLOYMENTS OP THE PEOPLE, AND ASPECTS OF DAILY LIFE
XI.— OF THE HIGH-CASTES : SOME PARTICULARS OF THEIR DOMESTIC AND SOCIAL CUSTOMS
XII. — OF THE APPEARANCE OF THE COUNTRY, THE CLIMATE, AND OTHER THINGS
XIIL — LONDON
XIV. — SOME GENERAL OBSERVATIONS