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  • 作者:Paul French
  • 出版社:Blacksmith Books
  • 出版日期:2023
  • 語言:English
  • ISBN:9789887554769


Inveterate Victorian traveller and prolific artist Constance Gordon-Cumming roamed far and wide, from the Scottish Highlands to the American West, from the islands of Hawaii to southern China. Even among her many adventures, her 1878/1879 trip to Hong Kong was momentous: she arrived just before Christmas 1878 to inadvertently witness the terrible “Great Fire” of Hong Kong that swept devastatingly through the Central and Mid-Levels districts. She moved on to explorations of the streets, temples and Chinese New Year festivities in Canton (Guangzhou) before returning to Hong Kong for the horse races at Happy Valley in February 1879. Gordon-Cumming is that rare travel writer who, while plunging into the throngs and crowds, manages to observe the minutiae of life around her.


“The flames rapidly gained the mastery, suddenly bursting from fresh houses here and there, where least suspected, and spreading from street to street. That night we stood watching this appallingly magnificent scene – the flames rising and falling, leaping and dancing, now bursting from some fresh house, shooting up in tongues of fire, now rolling in dense volumes of black smoke.”




Constance Frederica “CF” Gordon-Cumming was born in Scotland in 1837, the twelfth child of a wealthy aristocratic family. The Gordon-Cummings were seemingly all travellers and explorers – planters in Sri Lanka, explorers of the River Nile, travellers to the Canadian interior, and at least one big-game hunter in Africa. Gordon-Cumming’s first venture in foreign travel was a visit to her sister, who had married an officer stationed in India. She was a keen observer and self-taught landscape painter. Wanderings in China was first issued as two volumes in 1886.

Paul French, who has introduced and annotated this reprint, was born in London and lived and worked in Shanghai for many years. His book Midnight in Peking was a New York Times bestseller and a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. Stories from his Destination Shanghai were serialised on RTHK Radio 3.

Wanderings in China: Hong Kong and Canton, Christmas and New Year, 1878/1879