Strange Tales of the Opium War

  • Masuda Wataru


Stories of the capture of the English king’s sister were, needless to say, based on information emanating from the Qing side in the conflict. However, the exact foundation for such stories (be they written documents or in the form of fūsetsugaki) I have yet to determine. Thus, they may be based upon reports of the time, and these reports may have come from essays of writers of the late-Qing period. In the Qingchao shiliao (Historical Materials on the Qing Dynasty), which comprises volume four of the Qingchao yeshi daguan (Overviews of Unofficial Histories of the Qing Dynasty),a there is a section entitled ‘Ying nü beiqin’ (English woman captured). It reads in part as follows:

The Chusan Archipelago is the doorway onto the coast of Zhejiang province. In the twentieth year of the Daoguang reign [1840], English troops seized it [Chusan]. A warship took refuge in the port and raced eventually as far as Yuyao county. It became stuck in the sand there and was unable to continue. The local militia was called together, attacked it, and captured one English woman. Upon questioning, it was learned that she was the third sister of the King of England.


Qing Dynasty English Woman Peace Talk Fictional Account English Troop 
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© Joshua A. Fogel 2000

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  • Masuda Wataru

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