London: W. H. Allen & Co., 1886. Second edition. Hardcover. 4to. Vol. 1: xxviii, 349 pp. + Errata. Vol. 2: 523 pp. Green cloth wrapped boards with decorative Oriental motif in black on front cover. Gold lettering in Chinese on front covers, gold lettering in English on spines. Thick brown decorative endpapers. In Mandarin and English. Staining, scuffing and age wear to boards. Bottom inch missing from spine of first volume. Backstrip of 2nd volume is missing. Front board of 2nd volume detached but present. Age wear to top page edge of books. Signature of former owner on front endpapers. Exterior in overall fair, interior in very good condition. g. Item #19385
Sir Thomas Francis Wade, (1818-1895, also known by his Chinese name Wei Tuoma) was a British diplomat and sinologist who produced the “Peking Syllabary,” which is a guide to Mandarin pronunciation that was later amended, extended and converted into the Wade-Giles Romanization for Mandarin Chinese by Herbert Giles. As a lieutenant ,Wade saw action during the First Opium War. He was appointed interpreter in Cantonese to the Supreme Court of Hong Kong in 1845, assistant Chinese secretary to the superintendent of trade in 1846 and vice-consul at Shanghai in 1852. In 1857 and again in 1860 he was appointed Chinese secretary while attached to Lord Elgin. Wade took a leading part in negotiations for the release of Harry Parkes and other prisoners, and upon the establishment of the legation at Peking took up the post of Chinese secretary of legation. After retiring from work in the British embassies in China, he returned to England and donated over 4,000 volumes of Chinese literature to Cambridge University Library's Oriental Collection. He was elected the first professor of Chinese language at the University in 1888, a position he kept until his death.