top of page

British Views on China at the Dawn of the 19th Century

Editor: Zhang Shunhong

ISBN: 978-1-84464-351-6

Ebook ISBN: 9781844643875

Hardback-300 pages

Jan 31, 2014

English £75 $120 €90

Click Here To Buy



A detailed examination of how British perceptions were formed about China and Chinese society in the last decade of the 18th century and the first two decades of the 19th century - a period of history that played a key role in the development and formation of UK-China relations. In 1792 British envoy George Macartney travelled to China to establish The Macartney Embassy hoping to convince Emperor Qianlong to ease restrictions on trade between Britain and China. Things did not run particularly smoothly for George Macartney and his colleagues. In 1816 William Pitt Amherst was sent as ambassador extraordinary to the court of China's Qing Dynasty, with a view of establishing deeper commercial relations between the two nations. As with The Macartney Embassy, Amherst and his men encountered numerous problems and set backs. During their time in China, both George Macartney and William Pitt Amherst published a number of hugely influential books and papers on China that helped define British and European views on China and the Chinese. This book reveals the long-term consequences of decisions made from this period of history, and how perceptions and opinions formed during this time have played a central role in the relationship between China and the United Kingdom.


About the Author:

Director of the Institute of World History, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

bottom of page