[CHINA] STAUNTON, GEORGE LEONARD. An Authentic Account of an Embassy from the King of Great Britain to the Emperor of China......
London: W. Bulmer and Co. for G. Nicol, 1797. First edition. Three volumes, text in two quarto volumes and folio atlas, the text in period tree calf (neatly rebacked at a later date), all edges yellow, the atlas in the remains of calf-backed marbled boards. Text volumes 12 1/2 x 10 inches (32 x 25 cm), the atlas 22 1/2 x 17 inches (57 x 42.5 cm); text with engraved portrait frontispieces of Emperor Tchien Lung and the Earl Macartney, one botanical plate of a Camellia, and text engravings; the atlas complete with 44 engraved plates and maps, including 6 double-page and a large folding chart. As noted, the text volumes are rebacked (attractively, retaining the original lettering pieces); the atlas has the front board and endpaper detached, and the rear joint is weak. Occasional light spotting to the text (which is very wide-margined), the atlas plates generally clean, though with occasional foxing and very minor marginal soiling. The titles and frontispiece plates (and a few other locations) in the text volumes have the Explorers Club blindstamps, as do some of the plates in the Atlas (a minority, however). All volumes bear the 19th century bookplate of John Jarrett, and that of Explorers Club.
Staunton accompanied Lord Macartney's embassy to China in 1792 as his principal secretary. The spoken aim of the embassy was to establish diplomatic relations between the two countries, though there was the intent to improve commercial relations with China. Macartney (and Staunton) were ultimately successful in obtaining an audience with the Chinese emperor, but their proposals were rejected. Staunton was a gifted observer, and this work records his observations, which extend to the botanical realm. Staunton's account also describes the places visited during the expedition, among them Madeira, Tenerife, Rio de Janeiro, Java, Sumatra, and Cochin-China. Brunet V, 525; Cordier Sinica 2382; Cox I, p. 344.
C The Explorers Club Collection
Additional Notes & Condition Report
No condition report? Click here to request one.