Китайский поэтический сборник первой половины XIX века "Ланьдунь шиюн" (Десять напевов о Лондоне)
The article contains an annotated translation of the collection of poems “Landun shiyong” (Ten Verses on London), written by an anonymous Chinese author, who visited England in the beginning of the XIX century. The “Landun shiyong” collection became known due to the publication of the original text and its English translation in 1829 by J.F. Davis – sinologist and at the time the employee of the British East India Company; in 1834 its original text was reprinted in a Chinese-language periodical “Dongxiyang kao meiyue tongji zhuan” (Eastern-Western Monthly Magazine) by missionary K.F.A. Gutzlaff.
The collection comprises ten five-character eight-line regulated verses and is the first known Chinese language poetic description of London. The author who lacked the sufficient knowledge of the English language and had to depend mostly on visual impressions, chose to comment on the details of the London urban life that were most unusual to the contemporary Chinese society: he mentions multi-storey buildings, rich houses that faced the street, horses and carriages, bridges across the Thames etc. He also pays attention to the economic life of the British, their manners and customs, religious beliefs, entertainment and etiquette.