'The wound inflicted by Poor Ellis': The Amherst Embassy of 1816, John Murray, and China

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This essay discusses the impact of the second royal embassy from Britain to China, the Amherst embassy of 1816, and the impact that the various accounts of the embassy had in forming British opinion about China in the lead up to the First Opium War or Amngo-Chinese War of 1840-42. The essay is focused on the publication of the most significant account of the embassy by Henry Ellis, Journal of the Proceedings of the Layte Embassy to China by the house of John Murray in 1817. John Murray II eas since 1813 the official publisher for the Admirality of diplomatic and expedition accounts. This essay indicates how his personal intervention in the process of publishing this account impacted on opinion formation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-166
Number of pages24
JournalThe Wordsworth Circle
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Amherst Embassy
  • China
  • John Murray

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