A Corner of Cathay INSCRIBED BY ADELE FIELDE, with Ephemera
Fielde, Adele M[arion]. A CORNER OF CATHAY. STUDIES FROM LIFE AMONG THE CHINESE. Illustrated by Artists in the Celebrated School of Go Leng, at Swatow, China. New York: Macmillan and Co., [printed by the Norwood Press, Boston], 1894. xi, 286 pages, plus 12 color plates (including frontispiece). Original red cloth lettered and illustrated in gilt; top edge gilt. 19.5 x 15.5 cm. Base of the spine chipped with slight impact on publisher's name; head of the spine chipped to the headband; cloth faded and moderately soiled; a few stains to the front cover. Marginal chip to one leaf, not approaching the text. Endpapers, title page, and a few other pages heavily foxed; moderate scattered foxing elsewhere. Fair to good only, although the plates remain attractive and show only mild toning.
FIRST EDITION. PRESENTATION INSCRIPTION SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR, on the front free endpaper, reading as follows: "To William T. Marshall, from Adele M. Fielde. Lake Mohonk. Sep. 19, 1894."
[Together with, tipped-in after the front flyleaf:] LAKE MOHONK MOUNTAIN HOUSE, Mohonk Lake, Ulster Co., New York. A.K. Smiley, Proprietor. [Circa 1890s.] Two conjugate leaves, each measuring 19 x 13.5 cm. Engraved stationery for the famous Catskill Mountains resort, illustrated with an attractive view of the hotel. The stationery bears a MANUSCRIPT NOTE BY ADELE FIELDE (unsigned) being a translation of a Chinese phrase reading as follows: "sim -- long life, hok -- abundant wealth, heng -- numerous friends."
[Together with, tipped onto the stationery with a stub:] ENGRAVED CALLING CARD OF ADELE FIELDE, reading "Miss Fielde," measuring 6 x 10 cm. The card is SIGNED BY ADELE FIELDE on the verso. She adds a Chinese character below her signature and, on the recto, writes her New York City address.
Adele Marion Fielde (1839-1916) served for many years as a Baptist missionary in Thailand and China. In the present work, she recounts her experiences in China and includes observations on farm life, economy, marriage law, mortuary customs, infant care, children's games, schools, measures of time, law, folklore, religion, Confucianism, and Taoism. "These studies were made during a residence of fifteen years in China, chiefly at Swatow, in the southeastern corner, with frequent sojourn in villages which no other foreigner had ever visited, and with extensive travel in other parts of the empire. Acquaintance with the local dialect and with many native women enable the writer to gain information directly from all classes and from both sexes . . . " (preface).
In addition to her missionary work and her books on Chinese language and culture, Fielde is remembered for her ardent support of women's suffrage. In 1894, the year this book was published, she and other suffragists founded the League for Political Education to fight for the right of women to vote in New York and to promote their political education. She served as recording secretary and wrote two books for the League, “The Political Primer of New York“ and “Parliamentary Procedure“. Fielde was also a scientist who made important discoveries in the field of myrmecology. As well as publishing numerous papers on ants based on her research at Woods Hole, she invented the "Fielde Nest" for observing the insects. Ref. Stevens, “Memorial Biography of Adele M. Fielde“, pp. 238-249, et passim. An unlovely copy of the book, but desirable for the author's manuscript and ephemeral additions.
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