Cover

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Title Page, About the Series, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-viii

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INTRODUCTION

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pp. 1-46

For seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europeans, China represented both an irresistible model of reference and an exotic mode of sophistication. Its culture, celebrated through widely read publications, and its refined products imported to Europe held an intense fascination for Westerners and exerted significant influence on Western culture and taste.1 An emblematic case of that influence was...

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1 Marco Polo (c. 1254–1324)

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pp. 47-51

The Venetian merchant and explorer Marco Polo was to become the emblematic figure of a traveler. His widely read Book of the Marvels of the Modern World (later known in English as The Travels of Marco Polo), a geographical description of Far Eastern countries and the regions of the Mongol Empire presented as a travel account, influenced European knowledge of China for centuries...

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2 Matteo Ricci (1552–1610)

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pp. 52-56

Matteo Ricci was the earliestWestern traveler to present the complexity of the Chinese gardens’ spatial composition. One of the founders of the Jesuit mission in China, Ricci reached Ming China in 1582 and remained there until his death in 1610, in Beijing. During the later years of his life, Ricci was dedicated to the compilation of his journals, in which a report about the beginning and progress of...

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3 A´lvaro Semedo (1585/1586–1658)

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pp. 57-60

The two passages that follow are from the 1655 English version of one of the first and most successful works promulgating China and the Jesuit mission there: the Imperio de la China (1642), written by the Portuguese A´ lvaro Semedo.1 Semedo reached Nanjing in 1613, during the last years of the reign of the Wanli emperor (r. 1572–1620), thirteenth ruler of the Ming dynasty, but stayed mainly in the southern...

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4 Johannes Nieuhof (1618–72)

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pp. 61-66

The Dutch emissary Johannes Nieuhof, as a steward, accompanied the first Dutch embassy to the Qing court, a journey undertaken during the years 1655–57 for the purpose of developing trade relations between the Dutch East India Company and China.1 That mission resulted in a travel account with rich illustrations, entitled Het gezantschap der Nee¨rlandtsche Oost-Indische Compagnie, ann den...

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5 Jean-Franc¸ois Gerbillon (1654–1707)

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pp. 67-73

Jean-Franc¸ois Gerbillon was one of the first six French Jesuits who, given the formal title of ‘‘Mathe´maticiens du Roy,’’ were sent to China by Louis XIV in 1687 to establish a French China mission.1 Promoted by the minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert, who aimed at increasing France’s political and colonial prestige internationally, the French Jesuit mission was established in Beijing in 1688 with the task of...

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4 Louis Le Comte (1655–1728)

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pp. 74-78

Louis Le Comte was one of the ‘‘Mathe´maticiens du Roy’’ who arrived at the Qing court in Beijing in 1688. He was not chosen by the Kangxi emperor for service at court but was allowed to undertake missionary activity anywhere in China. 1 He returned to France in 1691 and a few years later published his account of China, Nouveaux me´moires sur l’e´tat pre´sent de la Chine (1696).2 Le Comte’s narrative took...

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7 Jean-Francois Gerbillon (1654–1707)

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pp. 79-82

In the following passage, taken from the 1714 English translation of a letter written from Beijing in 1705 and first published in 1713 in the collection Lettres e´difiantes et curieuses,1 the French Jesuit Jean-Francois Gerbillon shows his understanding of Chinese garden design, explaining that the emperor of China has, as a pleasure garden, a fragment of fertile countryside. The Jesuit provides a short description...

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8 Matteo Ripa (1682–1746)

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pp. 83-90

Matteo Ripa, a Neapolitan missionary belonging to the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda Fide, arrived in China in 1710 and served at the imperial court in Beijing as a painter and engraver from 1711 to 1723.1 Ripa’s contribution to Europe’s understandings of Chinese gardens lies mainly in the series of engravings that depicted...

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9 Jean-Denis Attiret (1702–68)

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pp. 91-111

Jean-Denis Attiret arrived in China in 1738 to join the French Jesuit mission and from 1739 spent the remainder of his life serving at the Qing court as a painter. He was the first Western traveler to perceive the spatial mechanism that determined the design of Chinese gardens. In a letter written from Beijing in 1743 and published in 1749,1 Attiret offered an enthusiastic description of the imperial...

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10 William Chambers (1723–96)

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pp. 112-120

The writings of British architect William Chambers were influential in the eighteenth-century European perception of the Chinese garden and in the introduction of Chinese-inspired elements in Western gardens. In addition to the letter of the Jesuit Jean-Denis Attiret, Chambers’s writings were considered an important source of inspiration for the development of the jardin anglo-chinois. On the two journeys he took to...

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11 Jean Joseph Marie Amiot (1718–93)

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pp. 121-125

In a letter written from Beijing in 1752 and published in 1758 in the collection Lettres e´difiantes et curieuses, the French Jesuit Jean Joseph Marie Amiot describes the festivities on the occasion of the sixtieth birthday of the Qianlong emperor’s mother, the Dowager Empress Chongqing. 1 The event had been celebrated by Qianlong with a grand project, the complete reconfiguration of a vast landscaped...

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12 John Bell (1691–1763)

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pp. 126-130

The Scottish physician John Bell accompanied the Russian embassy on a diplomatic mission led by Count Leon Vasilievich Izmailov and sent to the Kangxi emperor by Peter the Great in 1719–22. During late 1720 and early 1721, the Russian delegates were received several times in the urban and suburban imperial residences; they participated in banquets, emperor’s hunts, Chinese New Year celebrations, firework...

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13 Michel Benoist (1715–74)

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pp. 131-136

Arriving in China in 1745, the French Jesuit Michel Benoist remained at the service of the Qianlong emperor for nearly thirty years. He was one of the Jesuit missionaries working at the Qing court to whom Qianlong entrusted the design and the construction of the Western-style garden called Xiyang lou, ‘‘European Palaces,’’ within the precincts of Yuanming yuan in 1747.1 That particular landscaping adventure...

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14 Francois Bourgeois (1723–92)

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pp. 137-141

In a letter written in 1768 containing an account of his journey from Guangzhou to Beijing, Franc¸ois Bourgeois, one of the French Jesuits at the service of the Qianlong emperor, describes the landscapes and cities encountered along the route, as well as the gardens he visited. While he very briefly mentions the gardens of the urban residences in Nanjing, describing them as simple and natural grounds...

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15 Carl Gustav Ekeberg (1716–84)

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pp. 142-145

Of Carl Linnaeus’s many followers who explored various parts of the world observing and describing native flora, as well as collecting specimen and seeds, it was the Swede Carl Gustav Ekeberg who first managed to carry a living tea plant to Sweden. A naturalist, friend of Linnaeus, captain of the Swedish East India Company and, later, member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, Ekeberg...

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16 Pierre-Martial Cibot (1727–80)

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pp. 146-148

As part of the monumental collection of the Memoires . . . des Chinois, in 1777 the Jesuits published a French translation of the poem in which Sima Guang (1019–86), a Song dynasty Confucian scholar and statesman, celebrated his garden Dule yuan (Garden of Solitary Delight), located in the city of Luoyang.1 This translation, far more elaborate than the original text, was probably the work of...

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17 Jean Joseph Marie Amiot (1718–93) or Pierre-Martial Cibot (1727–80) (attributed)

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pp. 149-154

The two extracts that follow come from a long essay entitled, ‘‘Remarques sur un ecrit de M. P** [Pauw], intitule´: Recherches sur les Egyptiens et les Chinois,’’ written in 1775 by the Jesuit missionaries in Beijing in reaction to European criticism of Chinese culture. It was published in 1777 as part of a collection edited by the Jesuits, Memoires . . . des Chinois.1 The essay, with 105 specific points, was written...

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18 Pierre-Martial Cibot (1727–80)

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pp. 155-181

Pierre-Martial Cibot’s ‘‘Essai sur les jardins de plaisance des Chinois,’’ written in 1774 and published in 1782, is the first attempt by a Jesuit to treat Chinese garden aesthetics theoretically.1 Cibot’s primary aim of explaining the compositional principles of Chinese garden design is accompanied by his intent to discard ‘‘all the false...

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19 Pierre-Martial Cibot (1727–80)

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pp. 182-185

Despite its title, Cibot’s essay ‘‘Observations sur les plantes, les fleurs et les arbres de Chine qu’il est possible et utile de se procurer en France,’’ published in 1786, is not really concerned with the introduction of Chinese plants into France.1 Rather, it offers Cibot’s miscellaneous commentaries on some of his main interests concerning China: gardens, botany, horticulture, and cultivation techniques. The following...

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20 George Leonard Staunton (1737–1801)

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pp. 186-196

The British embassy to China, led by Lord George Macartney in 1792– 94, was not a diplomatic success. Despite the mission’s meticulous preparation and the numerous gifts sent by King George III to the Chinese emperor (bearing witness to the latest English technological advances at the time), none of the requests made by the...

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21 Andre´ Everard van Braam Houckgeest (1739–1801)

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pp. 197-210

Andre´ Everard van Braam Houckgeest was a Dutch-American diplomat and trader for the Dutch East India Company, who, together with Isaac Titsingh (1745–1812), led the last Dutch embassy to China in 1794– 95, one year after the Macartney embassy.1 The delegation, sent from the Company to congratulate the Qianlong emperor on the sixtieth anniversary of his rule, arrived in Beijing from Guangzhou...

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22 John Barrow (1764–1848)

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pp. 211-225

John Barrow joined the British embassy to the Qianlong emperor led by Lord Macartney in 1792–94 and published his own account of that expedition in 1804, entitled Travels in China.1 Barrow’s narrative was remarkably successful in England and was praised for the contribution it made to the British understanding of China. Essayist...

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23 George Macartney (1737–1806)

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pp. 226-230

In 1807, John Barrow published a series of writings by Lord George Macartney in a two-volume work entitled Some Account of the Public Life, and a Selection from the Unpublished Writings, of the Earl of Macartney, which included the journal the ambassador kept over the course of the diplomatic mission he led to the court of the Qianlong emperor in 1792– 94.1 Even though many of Macartney’s observations...

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24 Chre´tien-Louis-Joseph de Guignes (1759–1845)

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pp. 231-236

Son of the celebrated French orientalist Joseph de Guignes, who introduced him to the study of oriental languages, Chre´tien-Louis-Joseph de Guignes was in Guangzhou as a functionary of the French government from 1783 to 1796, when he moved first to Manila, in the Philippines, and then to the island of Mauritius.1 Upon his return...

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25 Felix Renouard de Sainte-Croix (1767–1840)

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pp. 237-240

On his way back from the Philippines, where he had gone in 1804, the French cavalry officer Carloman Louis Franc¸ois Fe´lix Renouard, marquis de Sainte-Croix, reached the southeastern coast of China in 1807, staying first in Macao and then in Guangzhou. Upon returning to France, he published the travelogue of his Southeast...

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26 Peter Dobell (1772–1852)

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pp. 241-243

Peter Dobell, an Irish-born American merchant who became a Russian citizen, reached China in 1798. He lived there for seven years before moving on to Manila, where he served as Russian consul in the Philippines. The narrative of his experiences in China forms the second volume of Dobell’s account of his Far East Asian travels, entitled...

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27 James Main (c. 1765–1846)

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pp. 244-249

Atrained gardener from Scotland, James Main was sent to Guangzhou in 1792 by Gilbert Slater, the manager and owner of several ships of the East India Company, to gather plants native to China to be acclimatized in England in the gardens of Knotts Green, Slater’s country residence near Leyton. At the time of Main’s journey to China, Europeans were already familiar with a large number of Chinese plants, thanks to the...

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28 John Francis Davis (1795–1890)

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pp. 250-254

The extract that follows is taken from The Chinese: A General Description of the Empire of China and Its Inhabitants (1836), in which British diplomat and sinologist John Francis Davis narrates the history of Sino- European relations. The work aspired to be an encyclopedic account of Qing China, rendered through its geography and...

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29 Robert Fortune (1813–80)

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pp. 255-258

In the 1840s and 1850s, the Scottish horticulturalist Robert Fortune made several journeys to China, and other parts of Asia, to collect botanical specimens to transplant to Britain.1 Among the plant hunters sent to China, Fortune was one of the most capable; his research had important repercussions not only on Britain’s botanical knowledge but also on the economy of the British Empire. In the course of his explorations...

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30 Osmond Tiffany, Jr. (1823–95)

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pp. 259-264

The garden of the wealthy Qing official and merchant Pan Shicheng, known to theWesterners as Pontinqua, was one of the most frequented among the private gardens in Guangzhou that Western travelers were able to enter and visit during the mid-nineteenth century. Located in Lizhi wan (Lychee Bay), in the western part of Guangzhou, and called Haishan xianguan, it was often described in the narratives of...

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31 Henry Charles Sirr (1807–72)

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pp. 265-269

The British lawyer and diplomat Henry Charles Sirr arrived in Hong Kong in 1844 to assume the post of vice-consul of the British colony. Soon after he moved to Ceylon, where he was appointed the ‘‘Queen’s advocate for the Southern Circuit,’’ Sirr narrated his short experience of China in China and the Chinese (1849), a book published...

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32 Robert Fortune (1813–80)

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pp. 270-275

In 1852, Fortune was engaged a second time by the East India Company to explore the tea districts of China and gather tea plant varieties for the plantations of British India.1 Fortune reached China in 1853 and remained there until 1856. It was his third botanical expedition to the Celestial Empire. The two extracts that follow are taken...

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33 Charles Taylor (1819–97)

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pp. 276-280

American Methodists established their missions in China in the 1840s. After the separation of the northern and southern branches of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1844, the Reverend Charles Taylor was entrusted with the task of founding the mission of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in China in 1847. He left Boston in April 1848 and reached Hong Kong in August of the same year, remaining...

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34 Robert Swinhoe (1836–77)

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pp. 281-290

The history of the imperial park of Yuanming yuan is tragically linked to the commercial disputes that brought Qing China into conflict with theWest during the mid-nineteenth century. The rapacity ofWestern imperialism toward China entailed the progressive acquisition of commercial bases through the use of military force. Under the terms of the 1842 Treaty of Nanjing, at the end of the First Opium War...

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35 Garnet Joseph Wolseley (1833–1913)

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pp. 291-302

Field Marshal Garnet Joseph Wolseley took part in the Arrow War under Sir James Hope Grant, the general in charge of British troops in China. In his own account of that military campaign, entitled A Narrative of the War with China in 1860 and published in 1862, he included a long description of the state of Yuanming yuan before it was...

APPENDIX: WILLIAM CHAMBERS (1723–96)

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pp. 303-342

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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pp. 343-362

Index

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pp. 363-374

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. 375-376

This book has been a long journey and it is a pleasure to express my gratitude here to the numerous people and institutions that have contributed significantly to it. My interest in the Western reception of the gardens of China developed in 2002 at the Center for Garden Art and Landscape Architecture (CGL) at Leibniz University Hanover, when I was...