BREDON, Juliet. Peking. A Historical and Intimate Description of its Chief Places of Interest. Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Hankow, Kelly & Walsh, Limited, 1922.
8vo. Original orange cloth, lettered in black, image of pagoda blocked in gilt on front cover; pp. , x, , 523, highly illustrated with plates after photographs and folding plans, cloth alittle dulled in places, a few light spots here and there, otherwise a very beautiful copy.
Second edition (first, 1920), considerably enlarged and revised. The writer Juliet Bredon (c. 1881-1937) was the daughter of Sir Robert Edward Bredon, Bt (1846-1918), Deputy Inspector-General Imperial Maritime Customs, China, (1898-1908).
In her preface, Bredon explains that, 'Several books have been written about Peking by foreigners, but among these only two are comprehensive - Monseigneur Favier's monumental work Peking and Father Hyacinth Bitchurin's Description of Peking. This paucity of accurate accounts is chiefly due to the obstacles in the way of collecting precise information. The more one studies the fascinating old city, the more one realises the tantalising difficulties of learning, even from the Chinese themselves, anything but the merest outline of its history and monuments. A proper appreciation of Peking is not, I believe, in the power of a Westerner to give - certainly not of one single person - since it pre-supposes a thorough knowledge of China's past, an infinite sympathy with Chinese character and religions, an intimate sympathy with Chinese character and religions, an intimate familiarity with the proverbs and household phrases of the poor, the songs of the streets, the speech of the workshop, no less than the mentality of the literati and the motives of the rulers' (p. vii). Bredon's book has subsequently become a very useful source on life in Beijing during the early twentieth century (and especially its architecture), and is widely cited in later literature on the period.