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Formations Of Knowledge

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Chapter Summary

Encyclopaedias as works of general reference present a compilation of what is considered worth knowing at the time of publication. This chapter presents an article on China, inserted in the French Encyclopédie, which collects the most important bits of information on China considered useful for mid-eighteenth-century European readers. The only entry on 'China' supplied with an extra alphabetical index seems to be that in the Encyclopaedia Londinensis. Entries on single provinces of China are based on travelogues and general descriptions on China. Most of these entries provide a synopsis of information drawn from these materials containing a wealth of details concerning the customs, manners and the material culture of the Chinese. In 1855, Krünitz' encyclopaedia pointed out that subjection had led to a intellectual and moral degradation of the Chinese people—adding that the Chinese would be known everywhere as the most deceitful and most wily people on earth..

Keywords:China; Chinese; French Encyclopédie; Krünitz' encyclopaedia



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    China in European Encyclopaedias, 1700-1850 — Recommend this title to your library
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