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Jane Austen & Co. Presents ‘From Xo Ho to Mi Li: Horace Walpole and China’ with Peter Sabor
December 16, 2021 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Jane Austen & Co. presents the third event in the “Asia & the Regency” series. Among the many eighteenth-century European authors who took an interest in China without crossing or approaching its borders was Horace Walpole. The furthest east that he ever travelled was to Naples, during his Grand Tour of Europe in 1739-41. He did, however, begin reading about China from an early age. In 1735, as an eighteen-year-old undergraduate at King’s College, Cambridge, he acquired the opulent, four-volume folio edition of Jean Baptiste du Halde’s Description géographique, historique, chronologique, politique, et physique de l’Empire de la Chine. Walpole’s early immersion in du Halde’s magisterial work seems to have worked on his imagination over the years; he put his interest in China to use in four of his later works. In this talk, Peter Sabor (McGill University) will study Walpole’s uses of China in these four publications, as well as an anonymous satirical response: An Answer from Lien Chi in Pekin, to Xo Ho the Chinese Philosopher in London, to which is annexed a letter from Philo-Briton to Lien Chi (1757).
This is a free online Zoom event. To receive your Zoom link, register in advance.
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Jane Austen & Co. is hosted by the Jane Austen Summer Program and directed by professor Inger Brodey and doctoral candidate Anne Fertig. This program is supported by the North Carolina Humanities Council.