A Cantonese schoolboy

Guangzhou, Guangdong 1869 - 1870

archive photo of a young boy in traditional Chinese costume holding a book

© The Wellcome Library, London

Although Thomson often quibbled about the old system of education in China, he was greatly impressed by the diligence and aptitude of Chinese schoolboys and their capacity in acquiring knowledge. He also noted, in different parts of the country there were attempts to modernize the education system, and some schools had adopted western learning. This boy is wearing a queue (plaited hair) and holding a board and a book in his hands. He looks straight ahead rigorously, as if he is looking into the future.

Chinese translation

A pdf of the information about this image in Chinese is also available to download:

Chinese translation: A Cantonese schoolboy label text