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Women, Pets, and Imperialism: The British Pekingese Dog and Nostalgia for Old China

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 December 2012

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Copyright © North American Conference of British Studies 2006

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References

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8 Bongie, Chris, Exotic Memories: Literature, Colonialism, and the Fin de Siècle (Stanford, CA, 1991), 418Google Scholar; Cheang, Sarah, “The Ownership and Collection of Chinese Material Culture by Women in Britain, ca. 1890–1935,” (PhD diss., University of Sussex, 2003), 3642Google Scholar.

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10 C. N. Seremerakis quoted in Hallam, Elizabeth and Hockey, Jenny, Death, Memory, and Material Culture (Oxford, 2001), 11Google Scholar. See also 4–19.

11 Stewart, On Longing, 136–37. In Susan Stewart's description of the souvenir in Western capitalist society as an “authentic object” related to an “authentic experience,” she places this experience “beyond the horizon of present lived experience, the beyond in which the antique, the pastoral, the exotic, and other fictive domains are articulated,” which is a fitting description of Old China.

12 Dixey, Anne Coath, The Lion Dog of Peking: Being the Astonishing History of the Pekingese Dog (London, 1931), 202, 221, 225, 237Google Scholar.

13 Davin, Anna, “Imperialism and Motherhood,” History Workshop 5 (1978): 965CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed.

14 Dixey, Lion Dog of Peking, 5.

15 Hevia, “Loot's Fate,” 319–45.

16 Hevia, English Lessons, 82.

17 Verity-Steele, Queenie, The Book on Pekingese, 5th ed. (1914; repr., Brighton, 1926), 910Google Scholar; Mrs.Cross, Ashton, The Pekingese Dog (Tonbridge, UK, 1932), 22Google Scholar; Elsa, and Howe, Ellic, Pekingese Scrapbook (London, 1954), 4448Google Scholar; Murray, T. Douglas, “The Ancient Palace Dogs of China,” in The Pekingese: A Monograph on the Pekingese Dog, Its History and Points, with Notes on Breeding, Feeding, Etc., Photographs of Famous Dogs, and Directory of Breeders, ed. Smythe, L. C. (London, 1909), 3Google Scholar; Raymond-Mallock, Toy Dogs, 5–6.

18 Cheang, “Ownership”; Cheang, Sarah, “The Dogs of Fo: Gender, Identity, and Collecting,” in Collectors: Expressions of Self and Other, ed. Shelton, Anthony (London, 2001), 5572Google Scholar; Nicky Levell, “Scholars and Connoisseurs, Knowledge, and Taste,” in Shelton, Collectors, 73–89.

19 Cross, Pekingese Dog, 22; Verity-Steele, Book on Pekingese, 9–10; “Mrs. Browning's Pekingese at Turweston Rectory, Brackley,” Ladies’ Field, 25 November 1905.

20 Verity-Steele, Book on Pekingese, 9; Ash, Edward C., The Pekingese as a Companion and Show Dog: Its Care, Management, and History; Famous Owners, Breeders, and Dogs (London, 1936), 14, 98–99, 145Google Scholar; Cross, Pekingese Dog, 22; “Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox's Pekingese Spaniels,” Ladies’ Field, 20 January 1900; Collier, V. W. F., Dogs of China and Japan in Nature and Art (London, 1921), 151Google Scholar.

21 “Pekingese Spaniels,” 489. See also Ash, Pekingese as a Companion, 15; Dixey, Lion Dog of Peking, 153–58.

22 Howe and Howe, Pekingese Scrapbook, 49.

23 Verity-Steele and Ash assert that Mrs. Loftus Allen traveled with her husband. The Howes write that she stayed at home in Birkenhead. Verity-Steele, Book on Pekingese, 21; Ash, Pekingese as a Companion, 18–19, 21, 23; Howe and Howe, Pekingese Scrapbook, 49–52.

24 Who's Who, 1910 (London, 1910), 1413Google Scholar.

25 Dennis-Bryan, Kim and Clutton-Brock, Juliet, Dogs of the Last Hundred Years at the British Museum (Natural History) (London, 1988), 98Google Scholar. Ah Cum was exhibited at the Royal Aquarium Pet Dog Show in May 1898 but was beaten by Pekin Prince. Full details of his career and descendants can be found in Ash, Pekingese as a Companion, 18–25.

26 Clunas, Craig, “The Imperial Collections: East Asian Art,” in A Grand Design: The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum, ed. Baker, Malcolm and Richardson, Brenda (London, 1997), 231Google Scholar.

27 “Animal Gossip,” Ladies’ Field, 12 October 1907.

28 Collier, Dogs of China, 153; Ash, Pekingese as a Companion, 17–18; Thomas Lawton, “Yamanaka Sadajiro: Advocate for Asian Art,” Orientations 26, no. 1 (1995): 85.

29 Dixey, Lion Dog of Peking, 159.

30 Collier, Dogs of China, 153.

31 Verity-Steele, Book on Pekingese, 10; Dixey, Lion Dog of Peking, 163, 168.

32 “The Toy Dog Show,” Ladies’ Field, 16 May 1903.

33 Murray, “Ancient Palace Dogs,” 6; Ash, Pekingese as a Companion, 19; Cross, Pekingese Dog, 23–24.

34 Howe and Howe, Pekingese Scrapbook, 37, 52.

35 Murray “Ancient Palace Dogs,” 5; “Mrs. Browning's Pekingese,” 501; Cross, Pekingese Dog, 23–24.

36 Hevia, James L., “The Archive State and the Fear of Pollution: From the Opium Wars to Fu-Manchu,” Cultural Studies 12, no. 2 (1998): 242–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

37 Interest in pekes may have initially been concentrated in the south of England. At annual Manchester shows between 1901 and 1904, no Pekingese were shown, whereas twelve were shown at Croydon in 1904. Ash, Pekingese as a Companion, 19–20.

38 “Toy Dog Show,” 393.

39 Ash, Pekingese as a Companion, 19–20; “Ladies’ Kennel Association's Show,” Ladies’ Field, 13 July 1907.

40 The peke's popularity grew rapidly. New Kennel Club registrations jumped from 562 in 1908 to 1,682 in 1914 and stood at 2,354 by 1921. In comparative terms, this represents an increase from 6 to 31 percent of pedigree toy dogs within thirteen years. By 1914 the peke had outstripped the Pomeranian as the most popular pedigree toy, and the peke remained the most popular toy until 1962, when it was finally overtaken by the Yorkshire terrier. “Comparative Table of Registrations, 1908–1927,” 615; “Comparative Table of Registrations, 1956–1962,” 44.

41 More women than men owned Pekingese dogs during this period. For example, registrations for June 1905 show twenty-one female owners and five male owners. In June 1908 there were sixty-nine female owners and only thirteen male owners. This was a typical pattern of ownership. “Pekingese,” Kennel Gazette, July 1905, 352; “Pekingese,” Kennel Gazette, July 1908, 353–54.

42 “Mrs. Andrew's Kennels at Toddington Manor, Gloucestershire,” Ladies’ Field, 14 September 1907.

43 Ladies’ Field was published between 1898 and 1928 and was then incorporated into Home Magazine. A George Newnes product (whose other contemporary publications included Country Life and World-Wide Magazine), Ladies’ Field cost sixpence a week, had an international circulation, and was available at W. H. Smith's bookstalls or could be ordered from newsagents. Kate Jackson suggests that Ladies’ Field had a weekly circulation in the hundreds of thousands, whereas other ladies’ papers achieved only seventeen to twenty-seven thousand. Jackson, Kate, George Newnes and the New Journalism in Britain, 1880–1910: Culture and Profit (Aldershot, UK, 2001), 209–36Google Scholar.

44 “Li Hung Chang's Latest Portrait,” Ladies’ Field, 30 March 1901; “Lady Lofengluh,” Ladies’ Field, 7 June 1902; “Costumes Worn at the Juvenile Fancy Dress Ball at the Mansion House,” Ladies’ Field, 17 January 1903; “Miss Chang,” Ladies’ Field, 4 March 1905.

45 “Governor of Wei-Hai-Wei and Mrs. Gaunt Outside Queen's House, Liu Kung Tan,” Ladies’ Field, 30 June 1900; “An Englishwoman's Life in China,” Ladies’ Field, 27 October 1900; J. Thomsom, “Broken China,” Ladies’ Field, 3 November 1900; “The Military Hospital at Lui-Kung-Tao,” Ladies’ Field, 5 January 1901; Douglas Hume, “China Cameos,” Ladies’ Field, 4 May 1901; “Captain R. H. James and the Wei-Hai-Wai Contingent,” Ladies’ Field, 30 August 1902.

46 “Pekingese Spaniels.”

47 “Animal Gossip,” Ladies’ Field, 25 November 1905.

48 The Kennel Club responded by accusing the Ladies’ Field of a spiteful and “hysterical outpouring.” “Animal Gossip,” Ladies’ Field, 11 January 1908; “Animal Gossip,” Ladies’ Field, 16 March 1901; “The ‘Ladies’ Field’ and Ourselves,” Kennel Gazette, January 1908, 8.

49 “Editorial,” Our Dogs, 27 March 1908.

50 For a glimpse into the strained relationship between the Kennel Club and the Ladies’ Kennel Association, see the account of Kennel Club committee meetings in Jacquet, Edward William, The Kennel Club: A History and Record of its Work, with Numerous Portraits and Other Illustrations by Edward William Jacquet Secretary of the Kennel Club, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries (London, 1905), 207–8, 216–17, 229–30, 239–41, 243–44, 330, 391Google Scholar.

51 Cross, Pekingese Dog, 23–24; Howe and Howe, Pekingese Scrapbook, 60.

52 “The Pet Dog Show,” Ladies’ Field, 28 December 1907.

53 See, e.g., the stories published in Cross, Pekingese Dog, 22–23; “Lady Algernon,” 238; Howe and Howe, Pekingese Scrapbook, 51.

54 Verity-Steele, Book on Pekingese, 13; Dixey, Lion Dog of Peking, 66, 143–45; Cross, Pekingese Dog, 31–33, 36–38; Raymond-Mallock, Toy Dogs, 18; Smythe, Lillian C., ed., The Pekingese: A Monograph on the Pekingese Dog, Its History and Points, with Notes on Breeding, Feeding, Etc., Photographs of Famous Dogs, and Directory of Breeders, 4th ed. (London, ca. 1914), 5Google Scholar.

55 Raymond-Mallock, Toy Dogs, 18.

56 The writing attributed to Cixi was often published under the title “Pearls Dropped from the Lips of Her Imperial Majesty Tzu Hsi, Dowager Empress of the Flowery Land” and was referred to as “The Pearls.” It seems that “The Pearls” was in the possession of the first Pekingese Club and was published as a pamphlet by Mrs. Ashton Cross. Smythe then included it in her 1909 edition of Pekingese. See Howe and Howe, Pekingese Scrapbook, 35–37. The stereotypes of Chineseness employed in “The Pearls” correspond with influential and authoritative late nineteenth-century guides to the Chinese character, such as Smith, Arthur H.'s Chinese Characteristics (2nd rev. ed. [London, 1895])Google Scholar, and have much in common with the pseudo-Chinese popular fiction that was produced in Europe and America during the early twentieth century. Druce, Robert, “The ‘Heathen Chinee’ and the ‘Yellow Peril’: Pseudo-Chinoiserie in Popular Fiction,” in Oriental Prospects: Western Literature and the Lure of the East, ed. Barfoot, C. C. and D’haen, Theo (Amsterdam, 1998), 131–59Google Scholar.

57 Stewart, On Longing, 135.

58 Cohn, Bernard, “Representing Authority in Victorian India,” in The Invention of Tradition, ed. Hobsbawm, Eric and Ranger, Terence (Cambridge, 1983)Google Scholar.

59 Hevia, English Lessons, 243.

60 See, e.g., “Her Majesty the Queen,” Ladies’ Field, 25 April 1903; “Her Majesty the Queen,” Ladies’ Field, 1 August 1903.

61 In connection with this point, there are some interesting comparisons to be made with the American Pekingese clubs, given the problematic nature of “queenhood,” in American modern femininity and national identity discussed in Boisseau, T. J., “White Queens at the Chicago World's Fair: New Womanhood in the Service of Class, Race, and Nation,” Gender and History 12, no. 1 (2000): 3381CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

62 Howe and Howe, Pekingese Scrapbook, 63.

63 Bush, Julia, Edwardian Ladies and Imperial Power (Leicester, 2000), 1617Google Scholar; Davidoff, Leonore, The Best Circles: Society, Etiquette, and the Season (London, 1973), 5964Google Scholar.

64 See, e.g., “Court Circular,” The Times, 10 January 1911; “Court Circular,” The Times, 28 January 1911; “Court Circular,” The Times, 12 December 1916. Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox had obtained her pekes from her mother-in-law, the duchess of Richmond. She was a friend of George V and gave Queen Alexandra a Pekingese puppy as a birthday present. “Lady Algernon,” 238; Gore, John, King George V: A Personal Memoir (London, 1941), 365Google Scholar; Howe and Howe, Pekingese Scrapbook, 62.

65 The gravestones of Mrs. Greville's pekes, and other pekes belonging to the family, can be seen in a little dog graveyard at Polesden Lacey, Surrey. On Mrs. Greville, see Rowell, Christopher, Polesden Lacey: Surrey (London, 1999)Google Scholar.

66 Herman, Theodore, “An Analysis of China's Export Handicraft Industries to 1930” (PhD diss., University of Washington, 1954)Google Scholar.

67 Wilson, Verity, “Studio and Soirée: Chinese Textiles in Europe and America, 1850 to the Present,” in Unpacking Culture: Art and Commodity in Colonial and Postcolonial Worlds, ed. Philips, Ruth B. and Steiner, Christopher B. (Berkeley, 1999), 234–39, esp. 235Google Scholar.

68 Cheang, “Ownership,” 16–78.

69 Comparison of contemporary Chinese garments and the cape illustrated in Liberty's catalog clearly shows that the cape that Liberty's claimed to be made from “Mandarin robes” was in fact a Chinese woman's skirt that had been altered to create a cape by simply gathering in the waist and adding a collar. See the illustration in Liberty and Co., Liberty Yule-Tide Gifts (London, 1898), 56Google Scholar.

70 Liberty and Co., Descriptive Details of the Collection of Ancient and Modern, Eastern and Western Art Embroideries, Exhibited by Messrs. Liberty, April, 1894 (London, 1894), 1920, 23Google Scholar.

71 Wilson, “Studio and Soirée,” 232–39.

72 On missionary selling of embroideries, see Cheang, Sarah, “‘Our Missionary Wembley’: China, Local Community, and the British Missionary Empire, 1901–1924” (unpublished symposium paper, Exhibiting East Asia, Kings College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, 21–23 June 2004)Google Scholar.

73 William Whiteley Ltd., Whiteley's General Catalogue (London, 1914), 1006Google Scholar.

74 Debenham, and Freebody, , Chinese Embroideries: A Unique Collection of Rare Mandarin or Court Robes, Sleeve, Etc., Worn by the Manchu Aristocracy during Empire Period, Lama Robes Worn by Tibetan Abbots in Ceremonial Observances, Etc., Etc., Collected in Western China (London, 1915)Google Scholar, inside front cover.

75 Whiteley, General Catalogue, 1006; Liberty and Co., Liberty Yule-Tide Gifts, 1909 (London, 1909), 28Google Scholar.

76 “Mrs. MacEwen's Pekinese,” Ladies’ Field, 5 December 1903.

77 Wilson, “Studio Soirée,” 232–33.

78 Cheang, “Ownership,” 25–31, 92–97.

79 Wang Yun's pronouncements on the Pekingese had already been referred to in print by Mrs. Archibald Little, who lived in China and was clearly very familiar with the Pekingese dog and its supporters. Mrs.Little, Archibald, Round about my Peking Garden (second impression, London, 1905), 8189Google Scholar.

80 Ash, Pekingese as a Companion, 81–82.

81 “Member's Show of the Ladies’ Kennel Association (Incorporated),” Ladies’ Field, 15 April 1905.

82 “Show of the Pekingese Club at the London Scottish Hall, Westminster,” Ladies’ Field, 20 July 1907; “Cruft's Show,” Ladies’ Field, 29 February 1908.

83 “Show of the Pekingese Club,” 241.

84 Howe and Howe, Pekingese Scrapbook, 59–60; Verity-Steele, Book on Pekingese, 19.

85 The word “amah,” meaning Chinese maid-servant or Chinese nurse, contains an ambivalence that presents Shen as a maid, a kennel maid, and a nurse, thus collapsing the boundaries between human and animal, and pet and child.

86 “Show of the Pekingese Club,” 241.

87 Ware, Vron, Beyond the Pale: White Women, Racism, and History (London, 1992)Google Scholar; McClintock, Anne, Imperial Leather: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest (New York, 1995)Google Scholar.

88 Craik, Jennifer, The Face of Fashion: Cultural Studies in Fashion (London, 1993), 4469, 176–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

89 Wollen, Peter, “Fashion/Orientalism/The Body,” New Formations 1 (1987): 534Google Scholar; Lewis, Reina, Gendering Orientalism: Race, Femininity, and Representation (London, 1996)Google Scholar; MacKenzie, John, Orientalism: History, Theory, and the Arts (Manchester, 1995)Google Scholar; Chow, Rey, Writing Dispora: Tactics of Intervention in Contemporary Cultural Studies (Bloomington, IN, 1993), 2754Google Scholar.

90 See Antoinette Burton's parallel study of Indian men in England. Burton, Antoinette, At the Heart of Empire: Indians and the Colonial Encounter in Late-Victorian Britain (Berkeley, 1998), esp. 152–55, 174Google Scholar.

91 The work of Homi K. Bhabha, Franz Fanon, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak has identified “the jagged testimony of colonial dislocation,” which renders single approaches to colonial oppression and identity unsatisfactory and demands a fuller attention to all social texts, such as acts of rebellion, marked absences of representation, and surely also the manipulation of material culture; Bhabha, Homi K., The Locations of Culture (London, 1994), 41Google Scholar; Fanon, Franz, Black Skin, White Masks (London, 1996)Google Scholar; Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty, “Can the Subaltern Speak?” in Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, ed. Nelson, Cary and Grossberg, Lawrence (London, 1988), 271311CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty, “The Rani of Simur: An Essay in Reading the Archives,” History and Theory 24 (1985): 247–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

92 Stoler, Ann Laura, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule (Berkeley, 2002), 162203, esp. 168–70Google Scholar.

93 As studies of dress have shown, the choice of Chinese clothing over a Western business suit was deeply loaded, a performance of gender, class, and national identity in which compliance with dress codes involved a crucial negotiation of power and also the “positive orientalism” of many anticolonial movements. Steele, Valerie and Major, John S., China Chic: East Meets West (New Haven, CT, 1999), 23Google Scholar; Fox, Richard, “East of Said,” in Edward Said: A Critical Reader, ed. Sprinkler, Michael (Oxford, 1992)Google Scholar.

94 Stoler, Ann Laura, Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault's History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things (Durham, NC, 1995)Google Scholar.

95 Stoler, Race, 29–32, 49–52.

96 “Animal Gossip, 1907”; “Animal Gossip,” Ladies’ Field, 22 February 1908.

97 Cross, Pekingese Dog, 24–26; Ash, Pekingese as a Companion, 82.

98 Howe and Howe, Pekingese Scrapbook, 63.

99 Lillian C. Smythe, quoted in Murray, “Ancient Palace Dogs,” 7–8.

100 Mrs.Lytton, Neville, Toy Dogs and Their Ancestors: Including the History and Management of Toy Spaniels, Pekinese, Japanese, and Pomeranians (London, 1911), 253Google Scholar. See also 246–49.

101 “Pekingese Spaniels.”

102 Hevia, “Archive,” 250–54; Bhabha, Location of Culture, 102–22.

103 See committee details in Smythe, Pekingese, 4th ed., 43–45.

104 Raymond-Mallock, Toy Dogs, 5, 11.

105 Li Ching-fong (shown in text as Qingfong), “His Excellency the Chinese Minister Lord Li Ching-fong, on Chinese Dogs,” in Smythe, Pekingese, 4th ed., 7. Li Qingfong was a son of Li Hongzhang and was an ambassador in London in 1908. Our Dogs reported that he visited the 1909 PPDA show and said he owned thirty pekes in China. See Howe and Howe, Pekingese Scrapbook, 33–34.

106 Ware, Beyond the Pale; Ramusack, Barbara, “Cultural Missionaries, Maternal Imperialists, Feminist Allies: British Women Activists in India, 1865–1945,” in Western Women and Imperialism: Complicity and Resistance, ed. Chaudhuri, N. and Strobel, M. (Bloomington, IN, 1992)Google Scholar; Bush, Edwardian Ladies.

107 Grover, J. Maynard, Four Dogs Song Cycle, lyrics by Pearn, Violet A. (London, 1913), 1417Google Scholar.

108 McClintock, Imperial Leather, 185–89.

109 Agnes, and Castle, Egerton, Our Sentimental Garden (London, 1914), 3, 220, 300Google Scholar. Thanks to Monica Brewis for drawing this book to my attention.

110 Castle and Castle, Our Sentimental Garden, 36, 50, 299–301.

111 Castle and Castle, Our Sentimental Garden, 166–67.

112 “The Pekingese,” The Times, 6 June 1914.

113 “The Pekin Palace Dog Association,” The Times, 25 October 1910.

114 Compare “Answer to Correspondent,” Ladies’ Field, 12 October 1907, and Ash, Pekingese as a Companion, 2, 50–51.

115 Ash, Pekingese as a Companion, 1.

116 Cross, Pekingese Dog, 27.

117 Stoler, Race, 30.

118 Stoler, Carnal Knowledge, 19; Burton, Antoinette, “Who Needs the Nation? Interrogating ‘British’ History,” in Culture of Empire: Colonizers in Britain and the Empire in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, a Reader, ed. Hall, Catherine (Manchester, 2000), 140–41Google Scholar.

119 “Lady Algernon,” 238.

120 Kwint, Marius, “Introduction: The Physical Past,” in Material Memories: Design and Evocation, ed. Kwint, Marius, Breward, Christopher, and Aynsley, Jeremy (Oxford, 1999), 2Google Scholar.

121 This was Miss M. Aste's dog, sired by Mrs. Douglas Murray's Goodwood Lo. “Pekingese, July 1908,” 353.

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