‘There is no better means of instruction on China than letting China speak for herself’: Thomas Percy and Hau Kiou Choaan

Exchanges: the Warwick Research Journal

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Title ‘There is no better means of instruction on China than letting China speak for herself’: Thomas Percy and Hau Kiou Choaan
 
Creator Yan, Mengmeng
 
Subject Eighteenth-century English Literature; China in Britain; Thomas Percy and Hau Kiou Choaan
Eighteenth Century; China in Britain; Thomas Percy; Hau Kiou Choaan
 
Description Hau Kiou Choaan represents a fresh enquiry into literary orientalism in Britain of the eighteenth century. This article will discuss Percy's adaptation of Hau Kiou Choaan from an original Chinese novel, and how the ways in which Percy interprets the Chinese novel signify his peculiar views of China.  On the title page of Hau Kiou Choaan; or, The Pleasing History (1761), Thomas Percy quotes from Jean-Baptiste Du Halde’s A Description of the Empire of China and of Chinese Tartary (1738): ‘There is no better means of instruction on China than letting China speak for herself’. It remains questionable, whether by presenting an original piece of Chinese literature, Percy has really let China ‘speak for herself’; it is reasonable to argue that Hau Kiou Choaan carries as much information about China as it does about Percy’s own perceptions of this country. Whether Percy’s works and views of China provoked louder criticism or higher praise, his input into the studies of China was a positive one, for it contributed to an increasingly vigorous debate that would increasingly perceive differences as a source of strength, not weakness.
 
Publisher University of Warwick, UK
 
Contributor
 
Date 2016-10-31
 
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion

 
Format application/pdf
 
Identifier http://journals.sfu.ca/exchanges/index.php/exchanges/article/view/117
 
Source Exchanges: the Warwick Research Journal; Vol 4, No 1 (2016): October; 68-85
2053-9665
 
Language eng
 
Relation http://journals.sfu.ca/exchanges/index.php/exchanges/article/view/117/255
 
Rights Copyright (c) 2016 Exchanges: the Warwick Research Journal
 

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