MOSSMAN, Samuel. The Mandarin's Daughter: A Story of the Great Taiping Rebellion. London, Griffith and Farran, 1876.
8vo. Original pictorial cloth; pp. x, 340, 32 (advertisements), wood-engravings in the text (several full-page), occasional brown-spotting, otherwise good.
Scarce first edition. Samuel Mossman, the editor of the North China Herald wrote as well a book on General Gordon's suppression of the Taiping rebellion, the long and bloody episode in Chinese history, which marks the beginning of modern China. 'Under the Taipings, the Chinese language was simplified, and equality between men and women was decreed. All property was to be held in common, and equal distribution of the land according to a primitive form of communism was planned. Some Western-educated Taiping leaders even proposed the development of industry and the building of a Taiping democracy. The Qing dynasty was so weakened by the rebellion that it never again was able to establish an effective hold over the country. Both the Chinese communists and the Chinese Nationalists trace their origin to the Taipings' (Encyclopaedia Britannica). - This is one of the few Victorian novels featuring the Taiping rebellion. Mossman sets this story of a Brtitain in Chinese Imperial service against the strictly non-fictional backdrop of the events.