“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

Representations of China in British Children’s Fiction, 1851-1911

Posted: June 3rd, 2013 | 1 Comment »

A little obscure perhaps but Chen Shih-Wen’s Representation of China in British Children’s Fiction intrigued me….




In her exploration of China in British children’s literature, Shih-Wen Chen considers travelogue storybooks, historical novels, adventure stories and periodicals to demonstrate the diversity of images of China in the Victorian and Edwardian imagination. Her book provides a new context for understanding how China was constructed and sheds light on British cultural history and on the history and uses of children’s literature.


Shih-Wen Chen is a post-doctoral fellow at the Australian Centre on China in the World, The Australian National University. Her research interests include children’s literature, print culture, and histories of reading.

‘Shih-Wen Chen’s extraordinary research challenges the assertions made by previous scholars to construct an important and convincing new analysis of Chinese characters in British children’s fiction.’Sally Mitchell, Temple University, USA’Combining detailed historical context with close rhetorical analysis, Shih-Wen Chen brings out the subtle distinction and occluded histories that reveal the diverse and subtle ways images of China in the nineteenth century vary from the conventional reading of stereotype. Extensively researched, well argued, topical and expansive in its scope, her book provides a detailed and compelling case for the variegated lens British children’s fiction offers for viewing the complexities and nuances of Sino-British relations’.Helen Groth, University of New South Wales, Australia

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One Comment on “Representations of China in British Children’s Fiction, 1851-1911”

  1. 1 Shih-Wen Chen said at 3:06 pm on November 11th, 2013:

    Thank you for your interest in my book!

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