The Cities and Towns of China

Scope and Content

A proof volume of what seems to be a partial version of G.M.H. Playfair's, The Cities and Towns of China . The front cover and spine have been lost and the back cover is loose. The text covers from p.253-417, No to Zimerick, with subsequent Appendices of Synoptical Table of the Administrative Cities of China, Radical Index and Corrigenda. The text is printed on one side - the blank pages being written to supplement the text and with further annotations on the printed pages.
The front endpaper has a Royal Asiatic Society bookplate with the text "Presented to the Library by Lionel Handley Derry, Esq., 2 June 1952, in Memory of Lionel Charles Hopkins, Esq., I.S.O.".
The work is undated but Playfair's first edition of the work was published in 1879 and his second in 1910.

Administrative / Biographical History

George Macdonald Home Playfair was born on 22 August 1850 at Shahjehanpore, Bengal, India, and educated at Cheltenham College, Gloucestershire, and Trinity College, Dublin. He joined the China Consular Service in 1872 as a student interpreter. He continued in the Consular Service until his retirement in 1901, rising through the ranks to become Foochow Consul in 1899. He retired to England with his wife, Winifred May Playfair, and died there in 1917.

Access Information

Open. Please contact the archivist using the email address given here. The archive is open on Tuesdays and Fridays 10-5, and Thursdays 2-5. Access is to any researcher without appointment but it will help if an appointment is made via phone or email. Please bring photo ID.

Acquisition Information

The volume was presented to the Royal Asiatic Society by Lionel Handley Derry on 2 June 1952, as part of a bequest from the Library of Lionel Charles Hopkins. This is recorded in the Report for the Anniversary meeting, found in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (1953) , p.184.

Archivist's Note

The volume was catalogued by Nancy Charley, RAS Archivist, in 2019.

Conditions Governing Use

Digital photography (without flash) for research purposes may be permitted upon completion of a copyright declaration form, and with respect to current UK copyright law.

Custodial History

The book was part of the Library of Lionel Charles Hopkins (1854-1952), a British Sinologist noted for his study of the Chinese language. On his death a gift of his books were presented to the Royal Asiatic Society by Lionel Handley Derry.

Related Material

The Society's Library Collections has a second edition of Playfair's The Cities and Towns of China , published by Kelly & Walsh Limited, Shanghai, 1910.