The Journal of Mr Samuel Holmes, Serjeant-Major of the XIth Light Dragoons, During his Attendance, as One of the Guard on Lord Macartney's Embassy to China and Tartary
- Publication date:June 2010
- Dimensions: 216 x 140 mm
- Weight: 0.35kg
This journal, kept by a soldier in the Light Dragoons of the voyage to 'China and Tartary' in the years 1792–1793, was published in 1798. Holmes kept his diary during the attempt by Lord Macartney to establish an embassy in China. Macartney returned to Britain unsuccessful, heightening western curiosity about this secluded and mysterious nation, and so this account by a soldier assigned to Lord Macartney's guard remains an important historical source on Europeans in China during this period. While, as the editor's preface admits, the text is not of great literary significance ('written by a worthy, sensible, but unlearned man'), its authenticity and soldier's-eye perspective make it a valuable document for historians today. The journal starts with H. M. S. Lion setting sail from Portsmouth, and ends with its return to British shores; the author notes diverse cultural features of the countries visited, and gives geographical references.