Dr Ernest Cromwell Peake was the first medical missionary to arrive in the region of Hankow, inland China, and he had to overcome significant obstacles in the building and establishment of his hospital, as well as the intense hostility of the Chinese towards foreigners and towards Western medical practice. He succeeded in his endeavour, and during his time in China he also married and had two children, one of whom was the writer and artist Mervyn Peake, whose first 12 years were spent there. Dr Peake wrote his memories of this period many years later when he had returned with his family to England, recording his arrival, his impressions of the Chinese, and the story of his establishment of a hospital. He also witnessed the historic events of the Chinese Revolution in 1911, the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty and the Boxer Rebellion. The memoirs provide a fascinating account of a Westerner in China at the turn of the last century. Of equal interest is the influence of the China years on Dr Peake's son Mervyn, who was born in China and went on to become one of the most talented British writers and artists of the twentieth century.
An introduction by the renowned biographer Hilary Spurling explores the connection between Mervyn Peake's years in China and his Gormenghast novels.
Publisher: British Library Publishing ISBN: 9780712357418 Number of pages: 224 Weight: 748 g Dimensions: 229 x 155 x 28 mm
Simply reserve online and pay at the counter when you collect.
Available in shop from just two hours, subject to availability.
Thank you for your reservation
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at
This item can be requested from the shops shown below. If this item isn't available to be reserved nearby, add the item to your basket instead and select 'Deliver to my local shop' at the checkout, to be able to collect it from there at a later date.
When will my order be ready to collect?
Following the initial email, you will be contacted by the shop to confirm that your item is available for collection.
Call us on or send us an email at
Unfortunately there has been a problem with your order
Please try again or alternatively you can contact your chosen shop on or send us an email at