In 1857 Laurence Oliphant (1829–88), lawyer, journalist, diplomat, and sometime spy, later Liberal MP, satirical novelist, and, for a time, adherent of the religious mystic Thomas Harris, became private secretary to Lord Elgin (1811–63), accompanying him to China, and thence to Japan, on a mission to protect and extend British trading interests in the region. Oliphant's 1859 account of the trip was published in two volumes. Volume 1 deals with the events of the Second Opium War, from the 'Arrow Incident', discussed in retrospect, to the Treaty of Tientsin, as well as an early diversion to India to suppress the Mutiny. The work is a mixture of travel narrative - Oliphant had previously written about his travels in the Crimea (also reissued in this series) - and political analysis. It provides both an informative account of the war from a privileged vantage point and a window upon Oliphant's colourful career.
Narrative of the Earl of Elgin's Mission to China and Japan, in the Years 1857, '58, '59: Volume 1 jetzt bestellen!
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Preface; 1. The origin of the war; 2. Appointment and departure of special mission; 3. Arrival at Hong-Kong; 4. Condition of India in August 1857; 5. Voyage to the Philippines; 6. Attempt of Count Poutiatine to reach Pekin; 7. Landing of the troops; 8. New Year's Day, 1858; 9. Withdrawal of the naval force; 10. Diplomacy in China; 11. The Imperial Grand Canal; 12. An expedition to the Snowy Valley; 13. Communication from the Imperial Government; 14. Perilous position of despatch gunboats; 15. The night before the attack; 16. Ascent of the river; 17. The chances of a Chinese political career; 18. Insolence of the mob; 19. Advantages gained by Russia and America; 20. Duplicity of the Commissioners; Appendix.