HERVEY, George. The Goldfish of China in the XVIII Century ... With a Foreword by A. C. Moule. London, The China Society, 1950.
4to. Original blue cloth, front cover lettered in gilt; pp. 99, illustrations in the text, large tryptich fold-out plate; a very good copy.
First edition. Based on Billardon de Sauvigny's 18th century monograph and an 18th-century Chinese scoll depicting 92 goldfish, this is a critical comparison of both sources and major contribution to the subject.
Provenance: from the West London library of the Irish-born administrator and soldier in Burma (Maurice Collis, 1889-1973) who, after WWI turned to writing: on Burma, China, art, fiction and drama. In Burma, Collis became increasingly critical of the role of the British in examining biased legal verdicts, which privileged the whites. As a consequence he was banished to the obscure post of Mergui (Myeik), until he retired in 1936 and devoted the rest of his life to writing. The political bombshell was his book Trials in Burma of 1938, which was positively reviewed by George Orwell, who was a close friend of Runciman.