Foreignness and Selfhood
Sino-British Encounters in English Literature of the Eighteenth Century
- Available for pre-order. Item will ship after April 15, 2022
In inviting a rethinking of ideas of foreignness and selfhood, this book explores Sino-British encounters in eighteenth-century English literature, providing detailed critical and literary analysis of individual texts pertaining to China from this period.
The author provides an overview of approaches to China in eighteenth-century English literature, involving fictional writing related to China, adaptations of Chinese source texts, and translations of Chinese literary works. By discussing various writings about tea and tea-drinking, Arthur Murphy’s The Orphan of China (1759), Oliver Goldsmith’s The Citizen of the World (1760-62), and Thomas Percy’s Hau Kiou Choaan (1761), she highlights the significance of reading these texts not simply as documents of a historical kind, but as texts that are worthy of literary and artistic attention on the basis of their rich variety in genre, style, and themes. The author proposes that Chinese and British cultures are not antithetical entities: they exist in relation to one another and create possibilities in the continuing appreciation of diversity amidst a drive to universality.
This study will be primarily helpful to university students and professors of English literature, comparative literature, and history worldwide.
Table of Contents
1: Food and the Nation: Britain’s Chinese Tea 2: ‘This zeal / so fervid in a stranger’s cause’: Self and Other in Arthur Murphy’s The Orphan of China 3: ‘The Chinese and we are pretty much alike’: Oliver Goldsmith’s The Citizen of the World and Chinese Visitors in Britain 4: ‘There is no better means of instruction on China than letting China speak for herself’: Thomas Percy and Hau Kiou Choaan
Mengmeng Yan is an assistant professor of English Literature at Peking University. She received her undergraduate honours degree in English from the University of St Andrews (2012), and was awarded her MA and PhD in English by Durham University (2013, 2018).