“The Miserable People of These Countries”: Eighteenth-Century Perceptions of China and Daniel Defoe’s The Farther Adventures Of Robinson Crusoe


Pavel Petkov

Резюме:

The article discusses changing Western attitudes towards China during the eighteenth century and some of the images produced as a result. While during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries many representatives of the British intellectual elite held the Chinese Empire in high regard, considering it to be something of a moral and social paragon for the West, the eighteenth century brought a different attitude. There began to be heard persistent notes of contempt, hostility and derision which eclipsed the previous positive ones almost entirely towards the end of the century. The main text I focus on in order to demonstrate this attitude shift is Daniel Defoe’s The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, which not only foreshadowed the attitude changes that were already taking place but led to the construction of even more unfavourable images by travellers in the late eighteenth and especially the nineteenth centuries.

Ключови думи:

China, travel writing, Defoe, Enlightenment, images

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