Harte, F. Bret, That Heathen Chinee and Other Poems Mostly Humorous. By F. Bret Harte, Author of “The Luck of the Roaring Camp” and “Sensation Novels Condensed.” London: John Camden Hotten, 74 & 75, Piccadilly, . Savill, Edwards and Co., Printers, Chandos Street, Covent Garden. 17 cm. First English edition, first issue, with the misprint on line 14, p. 126: “Sandy cMGee;”. There is another misprint for the first poem in the table of contents. “That Heathen Chinee” is listed as being on page “L1.” As the first poem in the book, it begins on page 15 (unpaginated). All poems listed in the table of contents are present. Colored frontispiece and a colored vignette on the title page. An imperfect copy, with gathering “D” bound in front of gathering “C”. The pagination is as follows: vi; B1-8 (corresponding to pages 15-28); D1-8 (corresponding to pages 45-60); C1-8 (corresponding to pages 29-44; E1-8 (corresponding to pages 61-76); F1-8 (corresponding to 77-92); G1-8 (corresponding to pages 93-108); H1-8 (corresponding to 109-124); I1-8 (corresponding to pages 125 – 140); K 1 (corresponding to pages 141 and 142, both unpaginated, p. 141 has the text of “Fate”. The verso has the printer’s name and address, but is otherwise blank. Eighteen pages of John Camden Hotten’s advertisements follow the text.
Bound in quarter green cloth with cloth corners on marbled boards, this copy belonged to Fleet Surgeon John Lloyd Thomas, R.N., H.M.S. “Endymion,” with his bookplate pasted in over part of his signature. His book plate is over-stamped with Japanese characters. The book tag of Jiujiya Book Store, at No. 6, Yatozaka, Yokohama, is pasted onto the front endpaper. On the frontispiece is the embossed stamp of the bookseller W. H. Smith & Son, Strand, London. On page 28, Thomas wrote: “Vide page after -60- for continuation of ‘Jim.’” On page 58, Thomas signed his name in full: “John Lloyd Thomas.” Thomas also inked his initials on the bottom of the text block: “JLLT.” On the title page is a curious ink annotation: “Jay Ell Tomas / H.M.S. “PORPOISE.” / 1896.” Thomas went to China in 1894 on the “Porpoise,” but the spelled abbreviations of his name remain a mystery.
Dr. John Lloyd Thomas (1857-1913) became Fleet Surgeon, R.N. in 1900.. From the John Lloyd Thomas obituary in the British Medical Journal, June 14, 1913: “In 1894 he went to China in the “Porpoise“, and in the following year attended the wounded Chinese soldiers and sailors at Chefoo during the China-Japanese war; his services were favourably noted, and he was promoted staff-surgeon in 1896. After a term of service from 1897 to 1899 in the Royal Naval Barracks, Portsmouth, he went out-again; to China in the “Endymion” in 1899. In the following year he served with the second Peking Expedition, and the excellent health of the brigade was attributed in a large measure to the sanitary arrangements made under his supervision. He was specially promoted fleet surgeon for these services, and received also from the Emperor of China the Order of the Double Dragon, first division of the third class. He came home in 1902, already unfortunately suffering from the disabling disease which was to shorten his life.”
H.M.S., “Endymion” was a first-class protected cruiser of the “Edgar” class. She served in China during the Boxer Rebellion and later in the First World War, and was sold in 1920. Not to be confused with her storied predecessor of the War of 1812, which was broken up in 1868. Condition good, binding and printing errors as noted above.