‘To favourably impress the Oriental mind with western knowledge’: Xiaohai yuebao (The Child’s Paper, 1875-1915) and International Print Culture

As part of transnational networks, missionaries, diplomats and migrants contributed to the transmission of knowledge and the spread of print culture through various channels in the nineteenth century. However, as David Finkelstein has pointed out, 'we have no map of the global nature of industrialised, nineteenth-century printing activity in English-speaking worlds (or others for that matter), nor is there a clear map of the flow of skills, tools, people and knowledge circulating around global networks and geographical nodes' (152). While the important role Protestant missionaries played in refining printing technologies in China has been well documented by scholars such as Christopher Reed and Xiantao Zhang, the influence of missionaries on print culture for children has not yet been explored in depth. This essay maps the transmission of knowledge and transferring of skills between English and non-English speaking worlds in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century by focusing on the case of the missionary periodical Xiaohai yuebao (The Child's Paper, 1875-1915), a Shanghai-based monthly that was financially supported by the American Tract Society and the Religious Tract Society of London.

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Published 1 October 2014 in Reading Communities and the Circulation of Print. Subjects: Children's literature, Chinese literature and writers, Periodicals, Reading.

Cite as: Chen, Shih-Wen Sue. ‘‘To favourably impress the Oriental mind with western knowledge’: Xiaohai yuebao (The Child’s Paper, 1875-1915) and International Print Culture.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 29, no. 3, 2014. https://doi.org/10.20314/als.5200d7c8ed.