DAVIS, Sir John Francis. China. A general Description of that Empire and its Inhabitants; with the History of foreign Intercourse down to the Events which produced the Dissolution of 1857. A new Edition, revised and enlarged. London, John Murray, 1857.
Two volumes, 8vo. Bound for Eton in full tan calf, spines with raised bands, ornamented in gilt and with contrasting lettering-pieces, board edges ornamented in gilt, inner dentelles in blind, marbled edges and endpapers; pp. xx, 480; vii, 428, wood-engravings in the text, light rubbing and fading to extremities, here and there negligible spotting to text, otherwise a very clean and fresh copy; gift inscription, dated Eton, 1862 to initial blank of volume one.
The colonial governor and Chinese scholar had been appointed writer in the East India Company factory at Canton (Guangzhou) in 1813 at the age of 22. He developed remarkable linguistic and diplomatic skills and rose through the ranks and published this book in 1836. He resigned over a row about his role as governor of Hongkong (mostly a disagreement with British merchants about the opium trade), and continued his Chinese studies and updated the 1836 work.