Szechwan: Its Products, Industries and Resources - Sir Alexander Hosie 1922 - Kelly &, Shanghai - First Edition First edition of this comprehensive study, the majority focussed on the expertise of Sir Alexander Hosie, former Consul-General for the Province ofd Szechuan, Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Products.

Two large folding sketch maps of Eastern and Western Szechwan, drawn by Florence Hosie

With a gift inscription to the front dated January 2, 1922, Shanghai.
  From the Oxford DNB [W. E. Soothill, rev. K. D. Reynolds]:-

Hosie, Sir Alexander (1853–1925), diplomatist and explorer, was born at Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, on 16 January 1853, the elder son and second child of Alexander Hosie, a farmer, and his wife, Jean, daughter of James Anderson. His father's farm did not prosper, and the family moved to Aberdeen, where the elder Alexander Hosie was accidentally killed in 1869. Hosie was educated at Old Aberdeen grammar school and at King's College, Aberdeen; he worked his way through the university by taking pupils, graduated in 1872, and was appointed sub-librarian of the university. However, in 1876 he joined the Chinese consular service, and sailed for China with his lifelong friend and future chief, Sir John Newell Jordan.

Hosie's first post, after he had finished his student interpretership at Peking (Beijing), was in Shanghai. At that time Edward Colborne Baber was the chief consular traveller of inland China, and at his suggestion Hosie was sent in 1882 on special service to Chungking (Chongqing). Isolated and lonely in this far western province of Szechwan (Sichuan), he soon realized the need, and the opportunity, of devoting himself to some absorbing preoccupation. At much risk, he set out on a series of travels in the interior, making full notes as he journeyed of the geography and products of the country. This resulted in his first book, Three Years in Western China (1889), which passed through two editions. In it he described for the first time the trade and showed the potentialities of those little-known regions.

On 1 December 1887 Hosie married Florence (d. 1905), daughter of John Lindsay, corn factor, of Aberdeen; they had one son. Considerations of the welfare of his family in a notoriously hostile and frequently unhealthy environment were to affect Hosie's acceptance of various postings throughout his career. He saw service in Canton (Guangzhou), Wenchow (Wenzhou), Chefoo (Yantai), Amoy (Xiamen), Tamsui (Danshui), and Wuhu, and in 1894 went north to take charge of the consulate at Newchwang (Yingkou) during the difficult days of the Sino-Japanese War. In 1897 he was sent south to Pagoda Anchorage and then, as consul, to Wuchow (Wuzhou), a port much harassed by river pirates. After the Boxer uprising (1900), during which he was on home leave, he went north to take charge again at Newchwang. He travelled extensively in Manchuria, and in 1901 produced his book Manchuria: its People, Resources, and Recent History, which passed through two editions. His official duties were concerned with the defence of British trade in Manchuria against the diplomatic and military inroads on Chinese sovereignty of Russia and Japan; but he was always proud that he on one occasion received the thanks of the Chinese government for his effective defence of the Chinese maritime customs on behalf of China, at a time when Chinese officials had fled before Japanese troops.

In 1903 Hosie was appointed first consul-general at Chengtu (Chengdu) in Szechwan. The boat which took him up the Yangtze (Yangzi) River was wrecked, he narrowly escaped with his life, many of his goods were lost, and his books had ten days' soaking at the bottom of the river. He used his term at Chengtu to compile a white paper on the products of the province, which in 1922 he republished in book form as Szechwan: its Industries and Resources. He journeyed to the verge of the forbidden land of Tibet, and brought to official notice the boundary-stone which was to figure largely in the tripartite boundary discussions at Darjeeling in 1914. From 1908 to 1912 Hosie was given the rank of consul-general at Tientsin (Tianjin), but did not proceed to that post; and from 1905 to 1909 was retained as acting commercial attaché to the legation at Peking, in which post he did much pioneer work on behalf of trade. In 1907 he was knighted.

In 1908 the government of India offered to stop the export of opium to China if China abandoned the cultivation of the opium poppy. Hosie was appointed commissioner to arrange proceedings, and in 1909 was British delegate at the Shanghai International Opium Commission, which led to his being sent in the following year, at the request of the Indian government, to visit the chief opium-growing provinces of China in order to monitor progress. He published an account of his investigations as On the Trail of the Opium Poppy (2 vols., 1914), which included much information on agricultural and other economic products.

Hosie retired in 1912, having travelled in each of the twenty-two provinces of China, except Sinkiang (Xinjiang). He settled at Sandown, Isle of Wight, where he was active in public affairs. On 2 January 1913 he married Dorothea [see below], daughter of William Edward Soothill (1861–1935), a Methodist missionary in China and professor of Chinese at Oxford University, and his wife, Lucy Farrar. In 1919 he revisited China on a trade commission, and was retained as special attaché in Peking until early in 1920. In 1922, as a result of his many hardships, his right foot was amputated. Aided by his second wife, he edited Philips's Commercial Map of China (1922), the authoritative economic map of China, a work of great accuracy and research.

Interested in botany, Hosie sent thousands of specimens to Kew, Hong Kong, and Singapore, especially from Szechwan. About 1905 or 1906 the Kew authorities requested Sir Ernest Satow, then minister in Peking, that his services might be specially requisitioned for this work, and they named an order of tropical tree, Ormosia hosiei, after him. In 1885 he had been proposed as the recipient of the Royal Geographical Society medal, which was, however, awarded to H. M. Stanley, who found David Livingstone in that year. In 1913 Aberdeen University conferred on him the honorary degree of LLD. Hosie died at Coleford, Broadway, Sandown, on 10 March 1925.

He was survived by his second wife, Dorothea Hosie, Lady Hosie (1885–1959). She had been born in Ningbo, China, and educated at Newnham College, Cambridge, before marrying Hosie, who was considerably her senior. She had assisted her father by editing several of his works of Chinese scholarship for publication, and likewise assisted her husband. After Hosie's death, however, she published several works on China in her own right, including
Brave New China (1938); she contributed the memoir of Sir John Jordan to the Dictionary of National Biography. President of the National Free Church Women's Council in 1932–3, she published Jesus and Woman (1946; rev. edn, 1956), which also had an American edition. A lecturer on Chinese affairs and a member of the Isle of Wight educational committee 1916–24, in 1938 she took up the post of vice-principal at Brampton Down Girls' School in Folkestone, which she retained until 1946.’

Large octavo (book size 25x16.8cm), pp. [6] 185 [1] vii [1]. In publisher’s green cloth spine over paper covered boards, upper board lettered in black.
  Condition: Very good, stain marks to boards, fading to spine, internally fine and clean.   Ref: 111577   Price: HK$ 1,600