Bringing together 380 articles and illustrations from influential British historical newspapers, this collection deals with Chinese history in mid-19th century which saw both the foreign invasion and a revolution. It shows how China was regarded in the West tracing from the Opium Wars to the Taiping Rebellion to the expansion of Western powers and to Boxer Rebellion. The images presented a vivid picture of China and political events, including attacks by the Allied power, bombardment of forts by the Allied fleets, naval battleships in China, and the signing of unequal treaties at the time.
Other images documenting China, primarily the provinces of Guangdong, Tianjin, Peking and Nanking depicting street scenes, Chinese of the region, social manners and customs, and travel.
The three newspapers featured in this collection are the Illustrated London News, the Graphic and Sphere.