Greetings from Shanghai: A Thanksgiving-Christmas Letter.Shanghai: 1935 Stock Code: 146321
First and sole edition of this rare little volume, a seasonal round-robin to "Dear Friends and Home Folks" from Margaret Verne McNeely (1885-1975), a Canadian nurse stationed in Shanghai, covering her first 25 years in China, and offering an intriguing woman's perspective on the country. We have been unable to trace another copy from an online search of institutional libraries.
McNeely graduated from the University of Toronto in 1908 and the following year went with the Canadian Presbyterian Mission to China. Supported by the Women's Missionary Society, she assisted the Rev. Donald MacGillivray of the North Honan Mission with compiling and editing the China Mission Year Book. In 1917 McNeely accepted an invitation to work at an Anglo-Chinese bookshop in Shanghai. "This bookstore eventually became the Kwang Hsueh Publishing House which had, by 1943, about one-third of its business in Chinese textbooks sponsored by the Nurses' Association of China. In 1923 Verne became the manager of the bookstore until the onset of the Second World War during which she spent two and a half years in a Japanese interment centre. After the war she made her way to Nanking to assist the Secretary of the Nurses' Association of China but returned to Canada in 1950, and made her home in Toronto, Ontario" (Carleton Place Local History, article online). Her slim book, certainly produced in very small numbers, touches on nursing ("the development of modern nursing in China is rather interesting to me as it is coterminous somewhat with my own life, the first modern trained nurse having reached China in 1884"), work at the bookshop, books in the press, snapshots of life, and visits to various sites, including the Purple Mountain Observatory and Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum; the snapshot illustrations are presumably the author's own. Unsurprisingly uncommon, this piece offers an unusual personal view of a woman's career in China during a formative period in its modern history.
Landscape octavo, pp. 24. Original pale grey fissure-patterned printed wrappers, yapp edges.
Portrait frontispiece of the author and 71 half-tone illustrations on 18 pages at the end.
An excellent copy.
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