China 1897. The dying coolie by Isabella Bird Bishop.

dying, coolie, china, victorian travel, isabella Bird Bishop,

The dying coolie


Perhaps because benevolence and charity are the objects of guilds, there is very little of the personal element in either. Personal kindliness and care for he sick and dying do not characterize the people of China. If a man is sick to death he is of no more use, and why should time and care be wasted on him?

This coolie in the picture was one of Mrs. Bishop’s carriers, who fell sick by the way, and though he had been a companion of the other men for many days, they had no care for him when he fell sick, and Mrs. Bishop was laughed at for taking the trouble to wet a handkerchief to lay on the feverish forehead of a man who was of “no more use.”

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Source: Chinese pictures: notes on photographs made in China by Isabella L. B. Bishop. Publ.: in New York by C. L. Bowman 1900.

Isabella Lucy Bird (Bishop) was a British female traveller of the Victorian era.

Isabella Lucy Bishop (born October 15, 1831 in Boroughbridge Hall, Yorkshire, died October 7, 1904 in Edinburgh) was a British travel writer, photographer, and naturalist. She was the first woman to be elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Her last major enterprise led her to Korea and China in 1897, where she traveled along the Yangtze River and Han Jiang, a tributary of the Yangtze River.

Note:  The traveling barge of Van-ta-zhin. Drawn by William Alexander, 1805.

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