The Englishman in China during the Victorian Era as Illustrated in the Career of Sir Rutherford Alcock, K.C.B., D.C.L. Many Years Consul and Minister in China and Japan - Alexander Michie 1900 - William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London - First Edition A clean bright original and thus scarce set of this important and detailed work covering the second half of the nineteenth century. With interesting provenance, from the library of Villiers Alwyne Caesar Hawkins, who was with the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank in Hong Kong (1882-1907), became director of the Imperial Bank of Persia (1908-193), and was also appointed a director of Hongkong Bank in 1911.

Sir Rutherford Alcock was a British army surgeon and later an accomplished Far Eastern diplomat, the author, Alexander Michie, was a successful Scottish trader, firstly with Lindsay & Co., and later as an agent for Jardine Matheson, he edited newspapers, authored several books, and also acted as Chairman of the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce.

Profusely illustrated with thirty full page black and white plates, three black and white maps, a large colour folding map at the rear of volume II, and a number of vignettes throughout the text.
  Sir Rutherford Alcock KCB (1809-97) was the son of a London physician who himself became an army surgeon. In 1844 he was appointed British Consul at Foochow (Fuzhou) before moving to the British Consulate at Shanghai where he remained until 1846. His most notable contribution to Shanghai was to formally lay out the borders of the British Settlement. In 1848 he was appointed Consul General to Japan, the following year being made Minister Plenipotentiary and opening the first British Legation in Japan as well as becoming the first foreigner to climb Mount Fuji. In 1865, after a spell back in England, and then a return to Japan, he was transferred to Peking, where he represented the British government until 1871 and his retirement though he remained active as a President of the Royal Geographical Society.

Alexander Michie (1833-1902) was born in Earlsferry, Fifeshire though virtually his entire adult life was connected with the China trade while he was also an intrepid traveller across China, the local agent for Jardine Matheson in Tientsin and the editor of the Tientsin-based newspaper Chinese Times. For a time he acted as the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce at Shanghai. In his obituary the Royal Geographic Society in London noted, ‘…the work which he subsequently gave to the world, under the title of An Englishman in China, is valuable as containing the matured judgment on the modern relations between East and West of one who had lived in the Celestial Empire for over forty years.”

Provenance: Villiers Alwyne Caesar Hawkins (1860-1945), with his armourial bookplate,

Reference: Paul French,
China Rhyming [Blog]. Cordier, Bibliotheca Sinica 2365.

Two volumes pp. [2] xiii [1] 442 [2]; vii [1] 510 [2]. In publisher’s red cloth,spines lettered in gilt, front boards with Chinese lettering blocked in gilt, black coated endpapers. Errata slip at page 1 of volume II.
  Condition: Near fine, light foxing to first and last few pages, single wormhole to rear of volume one not affecting text, in very good cloth bindings, spines uniformly sunned and a few lighter patches.   Ref: 108010   Price: HK$ 7,000