A Life of Sir Harry Parkes
A Life of Sir Harry Parkes
British Minister to Japan, China and Korea, 1865-1885
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Asian Studies
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Table of Contents
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Plate section faces page 142
List of Illustrations
1 ‘Watch Therefore for Ye Knows Not’
Birmingham, 1828–1841
2 ‘A Sharp Intelligent Lad’
Macao – Hong Kong – Shanghai – Nanjing, 1841–184
3 ‘Not Sufficient to Satisfy Me’
Zhoushan (Chusan) – Guangzhou (Canton), 1842–1843
4 ‘Here I Am Now Perfectly Alone’
Amoy (Xiamen), 1844–1845
5 ‘A Continuous Settled Life Has No Charms for Me’
Fuzhou – Shanghai, 1845–184
6 ‘I Saw a Good Deal’
India – Britain, 1849–1851
7 ‘I Distinctly Declined to Accede’
Formosa – Guangzhou, 1851–1854
8 ‘Hasty Love-making’
Bangkok – London – Bangkok, 1855–1856
9 ‘It Is the Cause of the West Against the East’
Guangzhou, 1856–1857
10 ‘Never Sparing Himself in Any Way’
Guangzhou, 1857–1860
11 ‘The Executioner Stood by with Uplifted Sword’
Beijing, 1860
12 ‘I Do Not at All Like Being in a Great Man’s Train’
Nanjing – Hankou (Wuhan) – Shanghai, 1860–1862
13 Sir Harry Parkes
Britain, 1862–1864
14 ‘The Drudgery of the Service’
Shanghai, 1864–1865
15 ‘The Appointment is Particularly Gratifying to Me’
Yokohama, 1865–1866
16 ‘The Most Superior Japanese
Osaka – West Coast – Nagasaki – Mt. Fuji, 1867
17 The Meiji Restoration
Osaka – Kyoto – Tokyo, 1868
18 ‘We of Course Hope for Improvement’
Tokyo, 1869–1871
19 ‘This is Becoming Civilised with a Vengeance
20 ‘I Arrived Too Late’
Tokyo – Britain, 1874–1881
21 ‘I Am Deeply Sensible of the Services You Have Rendered’
Tokyo, 1882–188
22 ‘The Last Semi-civilised State’
Seoul, 1883
23 ‘I Can Find No Rest’
Beijing, 1884–1885

Robert Morton

A Life of Sir Harry Parkes

British Minister to Japan, China and Korea, 1865-1885

Harry Parkes was at the heart of Britain’s relations with the Far East from the start of his working life at fourteen, to his death at fifty-seven. Orphaned at the age of five, he went to China on his own as a child and worked his way to the top. God-fearing and fearless, he believed his mission was to bring trade and ‘civilisation’ to East Asia. In his day, he was seen as both a hero and a monster and is still bitterly resented in China for his part in the country’s humiliations at Western hands, but largely esteemed in Japan for helping it to industrialise. Morton’s new biography, the first in over thirty years, and benefiting in part from access to the Parkes’ family and archives, offers a more intimate and informed profile of the personal and professional life of a Victorian titan and one of Britain’s most undiplomatic diplomats in the history of the British Civil Service.

Robert Morton

Dr Robert Morton is a professor at Chuo University, Tokyo, Japan. He is the author of the prize-winning A.B. Mitford and the Birth of Japan as a Modern State and A Life of Sir Harry Parkes.