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Au Japon: The Memoirs of a Foreign Correspondent in Japan, Korea, and China, 1892–1894
Amédée Baillot de Guerville, Translated, Annotated, and with an Introduction by Daniel C. Kane
Information and Pricing
978-1-60235-128-8 (paperback; $30.00; £20.00; €22.00; $34.00 CAD; $36.00 AUS); 978-1-60235-129-5 (hardcover; $60.00; £40.00; €44.00; $68.00 CAD; $72.00 AUS); 978-1-60235-130-1 (Adobe eBook, $18.00; £13.00; €14.00; $20.00 CAD; $22.00 AUS). © 2009 by Parlor Press. 230 pages, with introduction, illustrations, bibliography, glossary, appendices, and index.
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What they were saying in 1904 . . .
“Monsieur de Guerville is a passionate, and perhaps overly partial, friend of Japan. What he describes for us [in Au Japon] is what he himself witnessed—the festivals, the dinners, and the prominent and picturesque customs of the common people . . . Here is not a single figure, not a statistic, but vivid sketches that cut to the quick, and which, without sacrificing accuracy, offer up all the delights of a charming novel.” — L’Illustration (1904)
In Au Japon “[A. B. de Guerville] recounts some of his experiences in this country and sets forth his opinions about what he saw and heard. . . . The style is thoroughly French; that is to say, light, clear and graceful, and the matter is always interesting. What strikes us especially is that the author takes such trouble to contradict the gross exaggerations published in 1895 about the Port Arthur affair. Mr. de Guerville was among the newspaper correspondents who entered the place immediately after the fight and he is therefore in a position to speak positively. His verdict is this: ‘ . . . there was no butchery and no general massacre.’” —Japan Weekly Mail (1904)
In what was by all appearances a relatively short life, Amédée Baillot de Guerville was by turns an instructor of French at a women’s college, a newspaper and magazine owner and editor, Honorary Commissioner for the World’s Columbian Exhibition, popular lecturer, war correspondent, author, and general “globe-trotter.” Immigrating to the United States as a very young man in the 1880s, de Guerville gained his widest fame as a New York based correspondent and lecturer in the 1890s, before returning to his native France in 1898. In Au Japon (1904), de Guerville recounts with mostly comical gaze—and perhaps a touch of imagination—his experiences in the Far East during the years 1892 and 1894. As the author himself confesses, “each of us sees things in our own way.” After a century, that of Monsieur de Guerville is worth rediscovering.
In addition to translating the original French, Daniel C. Kane provides a thorough introduction, a glossary of key figures, a chronology of de Guerville’s publications, and an index.
Writing Travel Series
Edited by Jeanne Moskal
About the Author
Amédée Baillot de Guerville (1869-1911) was a French war correspondent and travel writer whose books include Au Japon (1904), La Lutte contre la tuberculose (1904), and La Nouvelle Egypte, ce qu’on dit, ce qu’on voit du Caire à Fashoda. 1905). He was a lecturer in French at Milwaukee Women’s College and later served as the Honorary Commissioner of the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.
About the Translator
Daniel Kane received his BA in French and History from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale in 1992. After a time in Korea in the military he went on to study Korean History at the University of Hawaii, where he received his MA in 1999. He is currently completing a doctorate in Korean history from the University of Hawaii.