By John Lee Scott
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2010
Online Publication Date:October 2010
Original Publication Year:1841
Subjects: East Asian history , Criminology
Narrative of a Recent Imprisonment in China after the Wreck of the Kite (1841) is an autobiographical account, written by the merchant sailor John Lee Scott, of his 'shipwreck and subsequent imprisonment in the Celestial Empire' in 1840, during the First Anglo-Chinese or so-called 'Opium' War. In eight chapters, Scott describes leaving South Shields in the Kite, 'a beautiful brig of 281 tons' for Singapore in order to 'carry stores to the British fleet destined for China'. Scott recounts how the Kite was capsized on its way to deliver supplies to the British fleet based around Chusan, and how he and other crew members, after being washed up on the island of Ningpo, were captured by the Chinese and held prisoner for five months. Scott's Narrative provides an interesting insight into British perceptions of the Chinese during the Anglo-Chinese conflicts of the nineteenth century.