This essay develops a counterfactual reading of the Romantic period in which the topos of China is more significant. It takes as its premise the success of Thomas Percy's Chinese writings, the symbiosis of chinoiserie and gothic. It speculates about what might have happened if Coleridge had gone to Canton instead of Malta as he proposed, or Keats and Shelley had acted as surgeons on the East India Company ships. Situated in contemporary histories of sinology, this essay uses the premise of a more sympathetic and pervasive British understanding of Chinese culture to interrogate Sino-British cultural relations in the early nineteenth century.
|Title of host publication||Counterfactual Romanticism: Rethinking the Nineteenth Century|
|Place of Publication||Manchester|
|Publisher||Manchester University Press|
|Number of pages||23|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Sep 2019|