Chinese Pictures, by Isabella L. Bird


This little book is the outcome of talks with Mrs. Bishop over some of the photographs which were taken by her in one or other of her journeys into and across China. Some of the photographs have already appeared in her published works, “The Yangtze Valley and Beyond” and “Korea and Her Neighbourhood” (2 vols., Murray). The notes were, in substance, dictated by Mrs. Bishop. It is hoped they contain some real information on the people, their surroundings, and habits which”, though slight in form, may be helpful to a better understanding of a verv difficult problem.

According to our newspaper press today, the Chinese are simply cruel barbarians. According to Mrs. Bishop, when you know them they are a likeable people — and she has formed this opinion in spite of the fact that, in their deeply-rooted hatred of the foreigners, they twice attacked her with violence. A real understanding of the people is for us, with our different modes of thought, most difficult to arrive at; but we shall not advance towards it by accepting all the evil reports and shutting our ears to the good ones. That the problem of China is, and will for some time continue to be, the most interesting question to the rest of the world is certain. The future of its people is all unknown, but there are in it possibilities which make it a terror to all other nations.


The Private Entrance to the Imperial Palace, Peking

The Entrance to the British Legation . . . .

Entrance to the College of the Student Interpreters

The State Carriage of the British Legation

The Great Imperial Stone Road from Peking to Chengtu, Capital of Sze Chuan

A Mule Cart

A Manchurian Family Travelling

Carriage by Bearers .

A Traveller Arriving at an Inn in Manchuria

Carriage of Merchandise .

The Mode of Carrying Oil and Wine . . . .

Wheelbarrow Traffic on the Chengtu Plain

The Wheelbarrow of North China

A Small Houseboat on the Yangtze Kiang .

A Foot Boat Found in Central China .

Hsin Tan Rapid on the Yangtze River . . . .

A Boat on the Min River, Used for Running the Rapids

Part of a Fringe of Junks or River Boats at Wan Hsien

The Bridge of Ten Thousand Ages, Foochow

A Bridge at Wan Hsien of the Single Arch Type

The Bridge of Mien Chuh Sze Chuan 48

A Simple Country Bridge 50

A Dragon Bridge 52

The Zig-zag Bridge of Shanghai 54

The Garden of the Guild of Benevolence, Chung King . . 56

A Burial Charity 58

A Baby Tower, Foochow . . . . . . . . . 60

Bottle Seller and Hospital Patient 62

The Dying Coolie 64

The Mode of Sepulchre throughout Southern China . . 66

Coffins Kept Above Ground 68

The Temple of the God of Literature at Mukden . . . 70

The Temple of the Fox, Mukden 72

Wayside Shrines 74

The Ficus Religiosa 76

The Altar of Heaven

The Tablet of Confucius 80

A Porcelain-fronted Temple on the Yangtze . . . . 82

Child Eating Rice with Chopsticks 84

Fort on the Peking Wall 86

Another Fort on the Wall of Peking 88

Colossal Astronomical Instruments on the Peking Wall . . 90

Chien Mun Gate 92

The Gate of Victory, Mukden 94

The West Gate of Kialing Fu 96

The West Gate of Hangchow 98

The Gate of a Forbidden City

Silk Reeling 102

A Typical Entrance to a House 104

The Guest Hall in a Chinese House, Wan Hsien, Sze Chuan . 106

A Chinese Village 108

A Farmhouse in the Hakka Country, Southern China . .110

A Market Place or Market Street in Sze Chuan . . .112

The Cobbler 114

Carrying Liquid Manure to the Fields 116

The Marriage Chaik 11S

Mode of Carrying Cash and Babies 120

A Pai-fang, or Widow’s Arch . . . . . . . . 122

Two Soldiers of Sze Chuan 124

Opium Culture Encroaching on the Rice Lands, Sze Chuan . 126

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52