Embassies and Illusions : Dutch and Portuguese Envoys to K’ang-hsi, 1666-1687

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Embassies and Illusions : Dutch and Portuguese Envoys to K’ang-hsi, 1666-1687

John Wills


From archival and printed sources in seven languages, John Wills traces the progress of four embassies – two Dutch, two Portuguese – to the court of K’ang-hsi. He has constructed fascinating pictures of the ambassadors and their staffs, their difficulties in their ports of arrival, the long journeys to Peking, the ceremonies at the court, the gifts exchanged, the influence of Jesuits resident in Peking, and, of special interest, the young Emperor in the early years of his reign. Contexts of Ch’ing court and provincial politics and of Dutch and Portuguese relations with China also are clearly described.

Publication Date04/2011 ISBN: 9781932800500 Number of Pages 326
Author Biography
John E. Wills, Jr. took his Ph.D. at Harvard University under the direction of John King Fairbank and Yang Lien-sheng. From 1965 to 2004 he taught East Asian history and world history at the University of Southern California. In addition to the present volume he is the author of Pepper, Guns, and Parleys: The Dutch East India Company and China, 1662–1681 (1974; second edition, Figueroa Press, 2005), Mountain of Fame: Portraits in Chinese History (1994), 1688: A Global History (2001), co-editor with Jonathan D. Spence of From Ming to Ch’ing: Conquest, Region, and Continuity in Seventeenth-Century China (1979), and author of over 50 articles, including two chapters in the Cambridge History of China. His current research interests include Qing relations with Annam and Siam and integrative themes in the history of the early modern world.
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