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Abstract

In their article "The Life Writing of Hart, Inspector-General of the Imperial Maritime Customs Service" Henk Vynckier and Chihyun Chang analyze the life and writing of Sir Robert Hart (1835-1911). Hart arrived in China in 1854 and served as Inspector-General of the Imperial Maritime Customs Service 1863-1911. Although Hart disparaged his own role, Jonathan Spence views him as a key adviser to the Qing government. Despite of the historical importance of Hart's texts, of his seventy-seven volume diary only eight of the volumes have been published and the remaining volumes remain largely unexamined. Vynckier and Chang examine the complex transmission and reception of the diary and argue for the importance of our understanding of the intercultural dynamic between nineteenth-century China and the British empire.