Travels and Explorations From<br>Allsworth Rare Books
Lady Dorothea Hosie wrote about China in Brave New China. Lady Dorothea traveled through much of the country, and while she is not one of the more noted experts on the land, the timing of her journey makes this interesting. The year was 1938, which places her observations just ahead of the major and permanent changes which occur over the next decade, first with the occupation from Japan, and then the takeover by the Communists. Her “new” China would soon become old China. Item 78. £100.
Benjamin Douglas Howard wrote extensively about the Ainu people of Sakhalin Island in the 1890s. For those not familiar, Sakhalin is located just off the east coast of Russia, north of Japan. Consistent with the assumptions Europeans tended to make at the time, he titled his book Life with Trans-Siberian Savages. Howard had been granted permission to observe the Russian exile system in place on the island by a Russian prince. However, he became more interested in the natives after seeing an Ainu woman at a hospital. Allsworth says that he was taken aback by her appearance, “notably her tattooed moustache and hairy body.” Item 3. £775.
We’ll conclude with an item that’s somewhat hard to pigeonhole. A “manuscript?” It is two 19th century albums of pressed seaweed. One includes 70 specimens collected by Emily Charley, primarily off the British coast. An exception is one collected from the Potomac in 1861. It leads one to wonder what she was doing hanging around the Potomac in 1861. Bigger things were going on than collecting seaweed at that time. The second album contains 30 specimens and its “author” is unknown. Allworth explains that in that era, seaweed was collected in much the same way as pressed flowers. Item 114. £1,000.
Alsworth Rare Books may be found on the internet at www.allsworthbooks.com or reached by telephone at 44 (0) 20 7377 0552.