- Paperback: 412 pages
- Publisher: Nabu Press (9 Feb. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1144007887
- ISBN-13: 978-1144007889
- Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 2.1 x 24.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,733,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Through China with a Camera Paperback – 9 Feb 2010
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Top customer reviews
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He took photos of all aspects of Chinese life, and his views of ordinary people demonstrate that his sympathies appeared to lie with the deprived and humble. Thomson produced four books – 'The land and the people of China' (1876) and 'Through China with a camera' (1898) are the best known and available as modern reprints. His others, 'Illustrations of China and its people' (1873) and 'The North River' (1873), are very rare.
This book has around 80 black and white photos from throughout China, from his visits to Hong Kong, Canton (now Guangzhou), Amoy (now Xiaman), Formosa (now Taiwan), Foochow (now Fuzhou), Ningpo (now Ningbo), Shanghai, the Yangtze River, Peking, and Tientsin (now Tianjin), amongst other places. Unlike The land and the people of China, which reads more like a geography textbook, Through China with a camera is more of a “rough guide”, with commentary, as he goes along, on a wide variety of topics.
Thomson is a keen observer not just of the grand and the rich, but of ordinary Chinese, too – he understands that the grandeur of Shanghai's buildings is a testament to Chinese workmanship and labour as well as to foreign investment. And he notes the Chinese “will many of them trade on nothing ; and some seem capable of living on nothing, too, until by patience and thrift, if they ever have a ghost of a chance, they manage to obtain a fair living”. His photos also cover a wide range, including not just mandarins and temples, but gamblers, tea dealers, street industries, a knife grinder and even a travelling chiropodist.
Take care when buying modern reprints of this kind - make sure you get one that is a proper full facsimile, not just an OCR copy. The Bibliolife one is fine.
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