== Book 60011232 ==

Narrative of The Earl of Elgin's Mission,
1860 US Edition, Laurence Oliphant

 

Oliphant, Laurence:
Earl of Elgin's Mission to China and Japan, 1860, New York, Harper & Brothers, (first US edition), 1 volume, 645 pages, 8vo (6 3/8 x 9 1/2 in - 16 x 24 cm), color frontispiece (colored engraving / lithograph?) + 60 woodcut engraved text illustrations (range from 1/3 to full page in size), 10 of the 60 woodcut engravings are full plate size, green pictorial gilt cloth. Pages 17-300 deal with the China portion of the Elgin Mission, which started in May of 1857, and the events surrounding the Treaty of Tienstin. The Japanese portion of the book runs from pages 301 to 476 and starts with the arrival in Japan in early August of 1858 through the signing of the Treaty on August 26. The Japanese portion is much more a description of the culture as the British found it than the diplomatic events leading up to the Treaty. The Japanese section even has the obligatory "bathing room" illustration which seems to have been required in all books of this type. Keeping with British tastes, there are no naked bodies, only baths and wooden buckets for washing. After the Japan visit, the Elgin Mission returned to China and for more trade negotiations, exploring and a little military action. The Mission departed China on March 4, 1859. The final China related portion of the book runs from pages 477-610.

This is the first US abbreviated version of the original two volume narrative of the mission that was first published in 1859 in England.

Cover - 1860 - Harper's US Edition


Click here or above for larger picture of cover.

 
Condition. The book is in Fair condition. Internally the book has all pages and is free of foxing and significant faults (I would rate the book VG but for the covers). The paper has is a brownish aged color. Hinges are intact. The covers have significant wear and faults. There is a 4 x 1 cm strip missing on the spine. The head and foot of the spine are significantly worn. There is some wear along the edges of the spine. The corners are bumped and frayed. Various parts of the cover have rubbing or discoloration. There is an owners plate on the inside of the front cover and a pen signature on a front endpaper.

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Examples of Illustrations
1860 - US Edition

A Winter Scene in Japan

Tea-garden near Yedo

Japanese Funeral

  Listing of full page Illustrations (No prining on back):
A Winter Scene in Japan* (Frontispiece) (shown above)
Capture of the Peiho Forts (after page 202)
Reception-tent of the Imperial Commissioners, Takoo
   (after page 206)
Signing of the Treaty of Tienstin
Yedo Forts (after page 362)
A Street in the aristocratic Quart of Yedo (after page 388)
Interview between the Earl of Egin and the Prime Ministers
   of Japan (after page 396)
Tea-garden near Yedo (after page 411) (shown above)
Interior of Tea-gardens (facing page 415)
Japanese Funeral (after page 426) (shown above)
* I have seen the frontispiece described as a lithograph. It is printed by "T. Sinclair's lith Phila". However, it appears to me under 10x magnification to be a handcolored engraving.

 
Collation. Full Title: Narrative of the Earl of Elgin's Mission to China and Japan in the Years 1857, '58, '59. Frontispiece with tissue guard, Title Page (1 page), Preface (3 pages), Contents (8 pages), List of Illustrations (2 pages), Text (starts at numbered page 17 and runs to 610), Appendix (starts at numbered page 611 and runs to 645), Advertisement for Harper & Brothers books (2 pages). 60 illustrations, including the frontispiece. 10 (frontispiece + 9) of the illustrations are full page and printed on only one side. The 9 full page illustrations in the text portion of the book are not numbered but are counted in the pagination.



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