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Travel to China: Guangzhou: Shamian: Photo 6

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Perhaps we should take refuge here in Christ Church. What was it like for the minister's wife? We have a fair idea, thanks to Mrs. John Henry Gray, who was in fact the minister's wife. In Fourteen Months in Canton (1880), she describes her first glimpse of the island: "I thought Shameen looked very pretty as we passed along it, and I was surprised, when we pulled up before the Chaplaincy, to see what a charming, comfortable house it seemed to be. When I entered it I was still better pleased, as the house is so well arranged. I will give you a description of my new home. It is in the Italian style of architecture, built in two stories, with two deep verandahs at the back of the house, looking upon the river.... From the verandah you step on to a narrow piece of grass which separates us from the bund or walk on the river wall.... The church, our house, and the wall which surrounds them, are painted a stone color in two shades. I like our part of Shameen much. It is at the extreme end of the small island, and is all to ourselves." (pp. 4-5)

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