British Periodical Representations of China: 1793-1830
Collins, Logan P.
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British periodicals played a vital role in building and shaping an image of China in the minds of their British middle class readership between the years 1793-1830. This period of time is significant in that it encompasses a number of critical events in the history of British and Chinese relations to include the 1793 and 1816 embassies to China as well as the waning years of the East India Company’s monopoly of the China trade. This period also encompasses the years during which the first major British studies and first-hand accounts of China were published. Periodicals continuously transmitted, filtered, interpreted, and ultimately judged this new work on China at home in Britain and therefore presented an image of China to the British public equal in importance to, but frequently different than, that contained within original studies and first-hand accounts. In sum, the editors and writers of British periodicals from 1793 to 1830 played a formative, though often overlooked, role in defining British perceptions of China.