Herbert Allen Giles spent several years as a diplomat in China and in 1897 was appointed Cambridge University's second professor of Chinese. His published works cover Chinese language and literature, history and philosophy.
This series of lectures, published as "China and the Chinese", was given at Columbia University in 1902, to mark the establishment of a Chinese professorship there. The lectures were not intended for the specialist, more to urge a wider and more systematic study of China and its culture, and to encourage new students into the field. While many of the observations are just as relevant today, others will remind us how much China has changed since the period of the Manchu Qing dynasty in which he wrote. (Summary by David Barnes)