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Shi Xi jicheng 使西紀程

Aug 8, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Shi Xi jicheng 使西紀程 is a brief record on a travel to Great Britain written by the late Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Guo Songtao 郭嵩濤 (1818-1891), courtesy name Bochen 伯琛, style Yunxian 筠仙, Yuchi Laoren 玉池老人, or Yangzhi Xiansheng 養知先生. Guo was ordered in 1876 to pay a diplomatic visit to England. He set off on October 18 in Shanghai and arrived in London on December 8. The book gives his details impressions of the journey. It is enriched by some comments on the old travel report Yinghuan zhilüe 瀛寰志略 by Xu Jishe 徐繼畬 (1795-1873), who had travelled to Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Guo's book renders information on Hong Kong, Singapore, Malacca, Sri Lanka, Aden, the Red Sea, the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean, Gibraltar, but also on the countries the traveller passed, but did not visit, like Iran, Turkey, Greece, Italy, or France, and explains topography, customs and habits, trade, military affairs, religion, climate, flags, and currencies.

The book is part of the series Tiexiangshi congkan xuji 鐵香室叢刻續集, Xiaofanghuzhai yudi congchao 小方壺齋輿地叢鈔 and Youji huikan 游記彙刊

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