China, Macau, Hong Kong

The Golden Needle

The Golden Needle: the Biography of Frederick Stewart (1836-1889) by Gillian Bickley (2nd paperback – alternate – edition.) NB The first paperback edition is available from CUHKP. Biography of Frederick Stewart (1836-1889), b. Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Founder of Hong Kong Government Education, first local appointee as head of the permanent civil service, police magistrate, first headmaster of the HK Govt Central School for Boys (now Queen’s College) and second Inspector of Schools. Eight years research, supported generously with academic funds, produced this definitive biography of The Founder of Hong Kong Education. The book gives important insights into the first school founded and fully funded by the Hong Kong Government, with its dual curriculum of Chinese and English languages and curricula.

The Golden Needle by Gillian Bickley in full Chinese translation by Rudolph MNB This first paperback edition is also available from CUHKP.
Publisher:  文韻出版社 (Proverse Hong Kong)

 Title:  金針度人 (The Golden Needle: Subtitle: 費德歷‧史釗域傳 (The Biography of Frederick Stewart (1836-1889))金針度人: 費德歷‧史釗域傳 Author: 白潔蓮 (Gillian Bickley)Translator: 邢影 (Rudolph M.)
這本著述是八年精心考據的成果,備受矚目與支持。作者白潔蓮博士為榮休副教授,現時繼續研究香港19世紀一些與社會、歷史及教會歷史有關的課題(主要為個人生平)。其丈夫白敬理博士,MBE,FRSA是語文教育學院(現隸屬香港教育大學)創校院長,一直支持妻子的工作,她為此十分感激。本書譯者邢影好古敏求,以授課及翻譯為樂。他近期的譯作包括「英華書院創校200年歷史展覽」(中文譯為英文)及《伊索傳 ‧ 驢仔》一書(古希臘文譯為粵語)。

Journeys with a Mission

Journeys with a Mission: Travel Journals of The Right Revd George Smith (1815-1871), first Bishop of Victoria, Hong Kong (1849-1865) edited by Gillian Bickley.

Contains annotated uncut transcriptions from archival material of five original narratives or journals of travel, covering visits to China, India, Ceylon, Java and Singapore during the interesting period 1852-1858, undertaken by the Right Revd George Smith, first (Anglican) Bishop of Victoria (Hong Kong), providing a very valuable information resource in two main areas: Protestant (and Roman Catholic) missionary, linguistic, pastoral, medical and educational activity, and the country-situations mainly in China and India at the time. They contain first-hand information about China’s internal, consular and diplomatic events; and vignettes of Indian life and culture just a few years before the Mutiny.

The Bishop’s thoughts and reports illuminate ongoing discussion of the relationship between missions and territorial expansion, and clearly show the focus and self-sacrifice of a peace-loving man who truly believed that empire was given for the purpose of carrying Christianity, “in the regions beyond”. The Right Revd George Smith had interesting experiences and wrote about them in an interesting way. He was adventurous and courageous. He valued unity, loyalty and affection. He understood historical and cultural perspective and could advocate pragmatism. He had an eye for scenery and a soft heart for suffering humanity. He wrote with care, often in an elevated style suggestive of an inspirational sermon.

Those with a particular interest in missions and missionaries, particularly the missions to China and India, will find this a rich seam to mine. All will be interested in what is shown of the human condition in different parts of the world, in the evidence of the motivation and perseverance of which individuals are capable in situations of hardship and disappointment, as well as the euphoria of final success. In the 1850s, edited and cut versions of all five pieces were published in the Church Missionary Intelligencer, a publication of the Church Missionary Society. All are presented here in full, with the cut parts restored and editorial changes reversed. The differences are noted. As a result, insights are gained also into the thinking at that time of a major missionary society, still active today.

The Last Journey of the San Bao Eunuch, Admiral Zheng He

The Last Journey of the San Bao Eunuch, Admiral Zheng He by Sheng-Wei Wang (First Hong Kong print-run edition).

From 1405, in order to maintain and expand the Ming Dynasty’s tributary system, Yongle Emperor Zhu Di (reigning 1402-1424) and Xuande Emperor Zhu Zhanji (reigning 1425-1435) ordered eunuch Zheng He to lead giant fleets across the seas. But soon after Zheng He’s seventh and last voyage in the 1430s, the Ming emperors put an end to this activity and ordered all records of previous voyages to be destroyed. Chinese writer Luo Maodeng (罗懋登), knowing the history of some of these voyages, wished to preserve a record of them, but, conscious of the possible penalty, decided to record the facts “under a veil”, in his 1597 novel, An Account of the Western World Voyage of the San Bao Eunuch (《三宝太监西洋记》).

This is what Dr. Sheng-Wei Wang has concluded after reading and analysing Luo’s novel. Her book, The last journey of the San Bao Eunuch, Admiral Zheng He, shows the methodology and evidential arguments by which she has sought to lift the veil and the conclusions she suggests, including the derivation of the complete trans-Atlantic navigational routes and timelines of that last journey and the idea that Zheng He’s last expedition plausibly reached the ancient American Indian city, Cahokia, in the U.S. central Mississippi Valley in late autumn, 1433, long before Christopher Columbus set foot for the first time in the Americas. She supports the hotly debated view that Ming Chinese sailors and ships reached farther than previously accepted in modern times and calls for further research. She hopes this book will become an important step in bridging the gap in our understanding of ancient China-America history in the era before the Age of Discovery. The book provides an insightful and fascinating contribution to an ongoing debate. 

Format: pbk 400 pp. (inc scattered b/w ills, 8 colour plates between Part 1 and Part 2 (pp. 176-177).  Tables pp. 312-217)

The Romance of a Literatus and his Concubine in 17th Century China

The Romance of a Literatus and his concubine in 17th-century China annotated translation into English by Jun Fang and Lifang He

Annotated translation of Reminiscences of the Plum-shaded Convent (Yingmeian Yiyu 影梅庵憶語), written by China’s prominent essayist and poet Mao Xiang冒襄 (1611-1693) in memory of his concubine Dong Xiaowan 董小宛 (1624-1651).

Critically acclaimed by generations of Chinese commentators, this memoir presents a vivid image of a young woman who determinedly pursued the goal of escaping from her former life as a courtesan and calmly dealt with all the difficulties she encountered in the last decade of her short life. It also reveals the political and social vicissitudes of Chinese society and the life of its élite during the tumultuous Ming-Qing dynastic transition. (The “Plum-shaded Convent” refers to the place where Dong was buried.)

Working on both the Daoguang edition of the original text printed in the early 19th century and the identical version, published in the early twentieth century under the editorship of Mao Xiang’s descendent, the erudite scholar Mao Guangsheng (1873-1959), and drawing on the translators’ previous research on Mao Xiang and the late Ming literati, this book offers a truthful rendition of the Chinese masterpiece. It identifies essentially all the historical figures who appear in the memoir and provides ample explanatory notes.To help readers understand the context of the book, the translators have provided photographs of some of the places mentioned in the memoir, which they took during their visits to East China in 2018. Also included are examples of Mao Xiang’s calligraphy and Dong Xiaowan’s painting.This book is both the first translation of Yingmeian Yiyu into English since 1931 and a valuable resource for studying Chinese history, literature, and gender relations in the seventeenth century. The Romance of a Literatus and his Concubine in Seventeenth-century China should appeal to a wide readership of students, specialists, and interested laypersons.

Through American Eyes

Through American Eyes: The Journals (18 May 1859 – 1 September 1860) of George Washington (Farley) Heard (1837-1875) edited by Gillian Bickley.

Eye-witness account of early western diplomacy, military intervention, tourism and trade in China and JapanLong ago secrets, lost emotions and persistent sadness at human conflict are finally revealed in this first publication of journals written by a young American visiting the Far East for the first time. Travelling out in 1859 to join his uncle’s then successful trading house, Augustine Heard & Co., George was hired on shipboard by fellow-passenger John E. Ward, the American Minister tasked with the ratification of the American-Chinese treaty. As an attaché to the American Legation, George witnessed the June 1859 Battle of the Peiho, and in July 1860 – now promoted as Secretary of Legation – he saw the western Allies’ preparations for the return battle that took place in August 1860. At least one of his letters home was borrowed to be copied by the American Minister and sent to the US President as an official report.

These were early days in the intercourse between the United States and the Far East; a first Treaty with Japan (which George also visited and writes about here) had been agreed only a short time earlier. Some of the Chinese people whom George talked with in villages visited on the way to Beijing had never heard of his country.A cultured, charming and conscientious person, with a sense of humour, an early-developed cross-cultural perspective, and highly readable writing style, George W. Heard died unmarried in his late thirties, and was buried far from home. This book finally brings home his memorial.

In Time of War

In Time of War narrated by Lt. Cmdr. Henry C.S. Collingwood-Selby, R.N. (1898-1992). Transcribed by Richard Collingwood-Selby (Chile).

Edited by Richard Collingwood-Selby (Chile) and Gillian Bickley (Hong Kong). Preface by Jay Winter. Supported by the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust.

In Time of War shows how a British naval officer, confined during the Second World War as a Prisoner of War in Hong Kong under Japanese Occupation, engaged his mind during those three and a half years. There are talks he gave to other POWs, drawings and essays. Transcripts from his diary for the year immediately before the Fall of Hong Kong provide fascinating insights, as do correspondence with family and friends and official documents. Photographs and narratives relating to his previous time with the Chinese Maritime Customs Service and descriptions from the time of the Japanese occupation of Kiukiang on the Chinese Mainland provide unusual first-hand information.

All Titles in this Category

A Personal Journey Through Sketching

All Agog in China

All at Sea

Through American Eyes

In Time of War

Journeys with a Mission

A Magistrate’s Court: The Complete Court Cases

The Golden Needle (English)

The Golden Needle (Chinese)

The Development of Education

The Chinese of Macao

Coolie Ships

The Last Journey of the San Bao Eunuch

The Diplomat of Kashgar

The Romance of Literatus

Chocolate’s Brown Study in the Bag

Memoirs of an Ice-Cream Lady

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