“The Kindness of my Friends in England”: Chinese Visitors to Britain in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries and Discourses of Friendship and Estrangement

Kitson, Peter J, (2016) “The Kindness of my Friends in England”: Chinese Visitors to Britain in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries and Discourses of Friendship and Estrangement. European Romantic Review, 27 (1). pp. 55-70. ISSN 1050-9585

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Abstract

This essay deals with the presence of Chinese visitors in London from the 1750s onwards. Its focus is on the discourses of hospitality, cosmopolitanism, gift-exchange and linguistic exchanges that were involved in these seldom discussed encounters between Britons and Chinese. While the dominant and paradigmatic textual encounter of the period remains meeting of Thomas De Quincey with his uncanny Malay in Grasmere, this should not be regarded as the primal encounter that informs later discussion. Instead this essay deals with a number of “elite” Chinese visitors to London. It describes the ways in which they were, for the most part, welcomed by late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century polite society according to the rituals of rational civility and cosmopolitanism. These cultural exchanges involved the linguistic, music, works of art, botanical, medical, scientific knowledge, and even literature.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School:
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2016 13:06
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2020 20:45
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/57543
DOI: 10.1080/10509585.2015.1124574

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