Britain's Chinese Eye: Literature, Empire, and Aesthetics in Nineteenth-Century Britain
This book traces the intimate connections between Britain and China throughout the nineteenth century and argues for China's central impact on the British visual imagination. Chang brings together an unusual group of primary sources to investigate how nineteenth-century Britons looked at and represented Chinese people, places, and things, and how, in the process, ethnographic, geographic, and aesthetic representations of China shaped British writers' and artists' vision of their own lives and experiences. For many Britons, China was much more than a geographical location; it was also a way of seeing and being seen that could be either embraced as creative inspiration or rejected as contagious influence. In both cases, the idea of China's visual difference stood in negative contrast to Britain's evolving sense of the visual and literary real. To better grasp what Romantic and Victorian writers, artists, and architects were doing at home, we must also understand the foreign "objects" found in their midst and what they were looking at abroad.
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artistic Barrow Beato’s Bird Bird’s blue and white blue china Britain Britons Cambridge camera century Chambers Chambers’s Charles Dickens Chicago Chinese aesthetic Chinese eyes Chinese garden Chinese landscape Chinese visual Chinoiserie collection commodity critique cultural den’s describes despite Dickens Dickens’s display domestic Edwin Drood Egoist embassy emperor european exhibition exotic Felice Beato fiction foreign Fortune Fortune’s Gehol geographical global ibid images imagined influence isabella Bird James McNeill Whistler Jasper John Lamb Lamb’s Lord Macartney Macartney Macartney embassy Macartney’s material Meredith’s modern nancy armstrong nineteenth nineteenth-century novel opium painting Palace perspective photographic political porcelain production Qing readers reading realism representation rhetorical robert Fortune rossetti scene second Opium War story taste thomson tion travel narratives Travels in China treaty of nanjing University Press Victorian viewers viewing vision of China visual difference visual practice Whistler white china William willow pattern willow pattern plate Wordsworth writes