ELLIS, Sir Henry.

Journal of the proceedings of the late embassy to China.


Journal of the proceedings of the late embassy to China.

London: John Murray, 1817.

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First edition of a contemporary account of the Amherst embassy to China in 1816.
Sir Henry Ellis (1788-1855) was a career diplomat who joined the East India Company in 1805 and went on Malcolm’s Embassy to Persia in 1810 .In 1816 Ellis accompanied Earl Amherst on his mission to China. The mission, to negotiate a new trade agreement, was unsuccessful. Ellis was not impressed by the Chinese, whom he considered xenophobic, ultra-traditional, and ‘uninteresting’ (Ellis). On the return voyage, Ellis and his companions were wrecked in the Strait of Gaspar and only reached Batavia after a perilous journey of several hundred miles in an open boat. Later they called at St Helena, where Ellis met Napoleon. Napoleon later hotly disputed Ellis’s account of the meeting.


4to (26.8 x 20 cm). Etched portrait, 3 engraved maps, one folding (repaired and lined), and 7 hand-coloured aquatint plates, with the final errata leaf, occasional minor foxing or spotting. Modern half calf over contemporary marbled boards, a very good copy.


Abbey Travel 536; Bastin & Brommer 132; Cordier Sinica III, 2393; Hill I, 94 (American edition); Prideaux pp.250-1, 335; Tooley 208; Young p.315.


Stock ID: 93804