The History of the Conquest of China by the Tartars. Together with an Account of Several remarkable things, concerning the Religion, Manners, and Customes of both Nations, but especially of the latter. Juan de PALAFOX Y. MENDOZA.
The History of the Conquest of China by the Tartars. Together with an Account of Several remarkable things, concerning the Religion, Manners, and Customes of both Nations, but especially of the latter.

The History of the Conquest of China by the Tartars.
The History of the Conquest of China by the Tartars. Together with an Account of Several remarkable things, concerning the Religion, Manners, and Customes of both Nations, but especially of the latter.

London: W. Godbid, 1671.

Octavo, with the four page advertisement of the bookseller Moses Pitt at the rear, some of the early pages a little dusted and a few marks throughout; but a very good copy in a recent period-style binding of dark calf, spine decorated and gilt, with russet morocco label.

Early work on China

First edition of this important early work on China, now quite rare.

First edition of this important early work on China, now quite rare.

The first major news from China to be reported in the Western world was the Manchu conquest of 1644, beginning with Father Martinio Martini's generally accurate De bello tartarico (1654), a work which traced the history of the hostility between the Chinese and the Tartars north of the Great Wall.

Palafox y Mendoza, who held bishoprics in both Spain and Mexico, served briefly as the viceroy of New Spain. In addition to his ecclesiastical duties, Palafox was also in charge of the dispatch of vessels to the Philippines during his stay in Mexico. In this capacity he collected "letters and memorials" on events in China as they were forwarded to him, using them to prepare this work, the second European history of the Manchu conquest.

He begins his account with the rebellion of Li Tzu-ch'êng and Chang Hsien-Chung in 1640, and provides a good history of the conflict. Moreover, although saddened by the revolt, Palafox does not revert to simply depicting the Manchus as barbarians, arguing that the collapse of the empire was due largely to slow deterioration and neglect. His work is now primarily known for his interest in Chinese government, religion, dress, customs, military techniques and manners (see Donald F. Lach & Edwin J. Van Kley, Asia in the Making of Europe, I, p. 356).

Cordier, Bibliotheca Sinica, I,627; Lowendahl, 'China Illustrata Nova', 152; Lust, 'Western Books on China', 449; Streit, 'Bibliotheca Missionum', 2395; Wing, 200.

Price (AUD): $3,400.00

US$2,401.33   Other currencies

Ref: #3602385