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Chapter Summary

Discussing the Chinese, European encyclopaedias concentrated on five main features: the origin of the Chinese, the densely populated cities and towns of China, the various ethnic groups mainly living in the peripheral regions of the Chinese empire, the main physiognomic characteristics of its inhabitants, and Chinese emigration to Southeast Asia. In presenting the geographical and ethnic situation of the peripheral regions of the Chinese Empire in Inner Asia and Northeast Asia, Europeans highly depended on Chinese sources. This chapter analyzes presentation of Chinese society in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century European encyclopaedias in the context of the intellectual and social history of Europe during that period. Concerning the material culture of the Chinese encyclopaedias focused on Chinese clothing and on Chinese food.

Keywords:Chinese society; encyclopaedias; Europeans; material culture; population



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