Compiled from their respective books, both published in the early 1800's, Views of 18th Century China incorporates the engravings and observations made by two eminent travellers, Alexander, who was a draughtsman attached to the British Embassy, and Mason, a soldier. In this fascinating work we are given a view of Chinese life in its various manifestations, as these two men must have encountered it in the busy streets and bazaars: all manner of people pursuing their trades and pastimes--the frog-catcher, the pillow-maker, the apothecary and the viper-seller; those engaged in the entertainment business--the men with magic lanterns and "raree shows"; we also see a variety of Chinese customs on display--the striking of a gong during an eclipse, the sacrifice at the Temple, and the public punishment of offenders; and in the midst of this seething activity, the Mandarin, the Lady of Distinction and the Soldier frequent the same streets as the beggars and the cripples. Mason's work tends to concentrate more on depictions of the people in the course of their day's work or activity, whereas Alexander's engravings are more general--portraying more in the way of landscape, architecture, ships and harbour scenes. The drawings are beautiful and lively records of what these men saw around them, and both perspectives combine to present a comprehensive view of the China of the late eighteenth and early 19th century. All the engravings are subtly coloured and are accompanied by short descriptive texts as they appeared in the original.