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From the acclaimed author of The Gunpowder Age, a book that casts new light on the history of China and the West at the turn of the nineteenth century

George Macartney's disastrous 1793 mission to China plays a central role in the prevailing narrative of modern Sino-European relations. Summarily dismissed by the Qing court, Macartney failed in nearly all of his objectives, perhaps setting the stage for the Opium Wars of the nineteenth century and the mistrust that still marks the relationship today. But not all European encounters with China were disastrous. The Last Embassy tells the story of the Dutch mission of 1795, bringing to light a dramatic but little-known episode that transforms our understanding of the history of China and the West.

Drawing on a wealth of archival material, Tonio Andrade paints a panoramic and multifaceted portrait of an age marked by intrigues and war. China was on the brink of rebellion. In Europe, French armies were invading Holland. Enduring a harrowing voyage, the Dutch mission was to be the last European diplomatic delegation ever received in the traditional Chinese court. Andrade shows how, in contrast to the British emissaries, the Dutch were men with deep knowledge of Asia who respected regional diplomatic norms and were committed to understanding China on its own terms.

Beautifully illustrated with sketches and paintings by Chinese and European artists, The Last Embassy suggests that the Qing court, often mischaracterized as arrogant and narrow-minded, was in fact open, flexible, curious, and cosmopolitan.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Half-Title Page, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. List of Maps
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. A Note to the Reader
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Prologue: A Clash of Cultures?
  2. pp. 1-15
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  1. Chapter 1. The Center
  2. pp. 16-21
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  1. Chapter 2. The Amateur
  2. pp. 22-27
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  1. Chapter 3. Man Proposes, God Disposes
  2. pp. 28-33
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  1. Chapter 4. The Delta
  2. pp. 34-45
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  1. Chapter 5. Canton
  2. pp. 46-60
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  1. Chapter 6. A Dreadful Prospect
  2. pp. 61-73
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  1. Chapter 7. The Imperial Way: By Boat through Southern China
  2. pp. 74-92
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  1. Chapter 8. A Walk into Winter
  2. pp. 93-123
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  1. Chapter 9. Beijing
  2. pp. 124-132
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  1. Chapter 10. Ice Games
  2. pp. 133-146
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  1. Chapter 11. Favored Guests of the Emperor
  2. pp. 147-159
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  1. Chapter 12. A New Year
  2. pp. 160-171
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  1. Chapter 13. The Purple Ray Pavilion, A Good Death, A Tour of Temples
  2. pp. 172-179
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  1. Chapter 14. Stately Pleasure Gardens: Yuanmingyuan
  2. pp. 180-193
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  1. Chapter 15. The Lantern Festival
  2. pp. 194-207
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  1. Chapter 16. Goodbye, Beijing
  2. pp. 208-215
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  1. Chapter 17. By Land through Beizhili and Shandong
  2. pp. 216-226
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  1. Chapter 18. Sailing into Spring: By Canal through the Lower Yangtze
  2. pp. 227-245
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  1. Chapter 19. Zhejiang and Jiangxi
  2. pp. 246-266
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  1. Chapter 20. An Uncertain Future
  2. pp. 267-291
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  1. Conclusions: A Contested Embassy and the History of Sino-Western Relations
  2. pp. 292-308
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 309-314
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  1. A Note on Place Names, Transliterations, Terms, and Sources
  2. pp. 315-320
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. 321-324
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 325-398
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 399-410
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780691219882
Related ISBN
9780691177113
MARC Record
OCLC
1249475245
Pages
424
Launched on MUSE
2021-06-06
Language
English
Open Access
No
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