Gleanings from Fifty Years in China

This series of essays by Archibald Little, a well-known Victorian expert on China, was published posthumously in 1910. Little, who first arrived in China as a tea taster for a German company, spent half a century living in Western China, and his affection for the Far East is evident in the romanticised tone of his work. Little's writings not only describe his life and travels in China, but also contain shrewd observations about the country's natural resources and commercial potential. The book is divided into four parts: 'Trade and Politics', 'Travel', 'Drama and Legend' and 'Religion and Philosophy', and the essays cover an eclectic range of topics, from 'How to register your trade mark' to a close analysis of traditional Chinese drama. Writing with an unmistakable sense of humour, Little exhibits a profound understanding of and empathy with the people of his adopted country.