Three Years’ Wanderings in the Northern Provinces of China, including a visit to the tea, silk, and cotton countries: with an account of the agriculture and horticulture of the Chinese, new plants, etc. Second edition.

  • Fortune, Robert
  • London: John Murray 1847
  • Abbey 'Travel' 543; Löwendahl 1056.


SKU: 3296 Category: Tag:


8vo, pp. xxiv, [ii], 420, [2] + tinted lithograph frontispiece, engraved title-page, map, and 2 tinted lithograph plates. Further illustrations within the pagination (some full-page). Later half red morocco by Winstanley of Manchester, marbled boards, spine divided by raised bands, second compartment gilt-lettered direct, the others with gilt frames and corner tools, marbled edges and endpapers. Plates foxed, a few fox-spots elsewhere. Binding just a little rubbed at extremities. Binder’s stamp to verso of front flyleaf.


A 'lively account' of the travels of Scottish botanist Robert Fortune (1812-1880), who visited China to collect specimens on behalf of the Royal Horticultural Society. 'His books are full of lively incident and perceptive accounts of inland China, then little known to Europeans. His introduction of tea plants to British India was of long-term commercial importance, but he is chiefly remembered as one of the earliest of a line of plant hunters... to visit China and bring back new plants capable of cultivation in Britain' (ODNB). This second edition contains an expanded section on tea and a new appendix on transporting plants by sea: Fortune was an early and effective user of the Wardian case for this purpose.

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