Results 49 - 56 of 85 results

The Punishments of China - Major George Henry Mason

1823 - Printed for William Miller by W. Bulmer and Co., London - Early Printing
A fine copy in magnificent contemporary binding, containing a series of twenty two hand-coloured stipple engravings by Dadley based on paintings attributed to the artist George Henry Mason who, with William Alexander, travelled to China at the end of the eighteenth century. Each plate is accompanied by a descriptive text leaf.

The best western record of these peculiar and often gruesome practices, describing in graphic detail the forms of punishment from less severe penalties like
Torturing the Fingers and Twisting a Man’s Ears, to the most serious The Manner of Beheading. The accompanying text, in both French and English, explains the method by which the punishment is delivered and examples of the crimes that would merit such a punishment. For example the fitting punishment for merchants that had committed frauds, impositions, or any other unwarrantable tricks of the trade was the Punishment of the Swing, in which a man is suspended by his shoulders and ankles, in a very painful situation. [Wittockiana 49]

While the methods are clearly barbaric by today's standards, Mason's book, along with the translation of the Qing penal code in 1810, created growing concern in Britain and other Western countries over the perceived severity and unnecessary cruelty of the sentences described. [Abbey]
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Price HK$ 22,000

Ah King - Six Stories - William Somerset Maugham

1933 - William Heinemann Ltd, London - First Edition
"But human beings are incalculable and he is a fool who tells himself that he knows what a man is capable of."

A fine copy in bright sharp dust jacket.

Six short stories which, as Maugham explained in the preface, revolve around Ah King, a Chinese boy that he had as a servant to look after him during his trip to Borneo, Indo-China and Siam. It is to be a commemoration for the emotion that Ah King, who otherwise was placid and indifferent, showed when they were to part. The stories were set in places in which the two travelled together.
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Price HK$ 5,500

Cakes and Ale - or - The Skeleton in the Cupboard - William Somerset Maugham

1930 - William Heinemann Ltd, London - First Edition
“Enjoy yourself while you have the chance, I say; we shall all be dead in a hundred years and what will anything matter then?”

A beautiful first edition of Somerset Maugham's classic satirical novel; a story of literary poseurs, fame, hypocrisy and freedom, narrated by novelist William Ashenden, Maugham's alter-ego who had already appeared in '
Ashenden', the fictional account of his Secret Service work in World War I.

The book I like best is Cakes and Ale. It was an amusing book to write. 
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Price HK$ 6,000

On a Chinese Screen - William Somerset Maugham

1922 - William Heinemann, London - First English Edition
Maugham spent the winter months of 1919 travelling fifteen hundred miles up the Yangtze river. Always more interested in people than places, he noted down acute and finely crafted sketches of those he met on countless scraps of paper. In the resulting collection we encounter Western missionaries, army officers and company managers who are culturally out of their depth in the immensity of the Chinese civilisation. Maugham keenly observes, and gently ridicules, their dogged and oblivious persistence with the life they know [from the introduction to the Penguin Vintage Edition). In total 58 sketches.

A near fine and mostly unopened copy.
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Price HK$ 2,800

1901 - Hutchinson & Co., London - First Edition
If James had learnt anything, it was at all hazards to think for himself, accepting nothing on authority, questioning, doubting; it was to look upon life with a critical eye, trying to understand it, and to receive no ready-made explanations

Somerset Maugham’s scarce third novel about the return of a decorated Army veteran of the Boer war, one of 1,500 copies, and the first state with Maugham’s symbol upside down on the front panel and lacking the g in ‘game’ on the last line of page 129.
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Price HK$ 13,000

Old Burma - Eight Works on Burma in Four Volumes - U Myo Min, Taw Sein Ko, Ma (Daw) Mya Sein, F. Haskings, U Tun Pe, et al.

1938 - 1949 - Various, Various - Various
Eight works on Burma bound into four charming volumes for Charles Booth, British diplomat who served in Burma three times between 1950 and 1978.

A compilation of memoir, history, and tourist guides to Burma, these books are profusely illustrated with maps, photographic plates, and illustrations, and will provide wonderful material for armchair travellers, and nostalgia to those who have already visited Burma.
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Price HK$ 2,500

An Australian in China. Being the Narrative of a Quiet Journey across China to British Burma - G. E. Morrison

1895 - Horace Cox, London - First Edition
Scarce first edition of the first and only book the great George Ernest “G. E.” Morrison ever published. Illustrated with 27 leaves of plates, two folding maps, other illustrations in the text

After graduating in 1887, Morrison was unable to settle in a medical career and in 1894 he walked most of the way from Shanghai to Rangoon, a journey of 3,000 miles. In 1895, whilst on board a ship to England he put this book together, the success of which led to his appointment in 1895 at
The Times as their correspondent in Indo-China and Thailand, he had also, the same year , presented his doctoral theses and obtained his MD from the University of Edinburgh.

In 1897 Morrison become
The Times Peking correspondent, and thus, the legend of ‘Morrison of Peking’ or ‘Chinese Morrison’ began. 
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Price HK$ 8,000

Glimpses of China and Chinese Homes - Edward S. Morse

1902 - Little, Boston - First Edition
A fine copy, ‘Illustrated from Sketches in the Author's Journal’.

Zoologist and orientalist with in-depth knowledge of Japanese ceramics and customs, travelled through China whilst keeping this ‘Journal’ in which he mostly outlines his views on the superiority of the Japanese in matters of municipal, military and culture, obviously a considerable bias based upon his years spent in Japan and love of that country. However, some of his points may have some bases of fact, with the luxury lifestyle and corruption that was seen amongst the senior military Chinese figures at the time.

An interesting counterpoint to works by Morse’s contemporary Western sinologists, and the sketches are rather good.
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Price HK$ 1,800

Results 49 - 56 of 85 results