GILES, Herbert Allen. Oxford 8.12.1845 — Cambridge 13.2.1935. British Sinologist. Professor in Cambridge. Son of John Allen G., an editor and translator, and Anna Sarah Dickinson. Educated at Charterhouse. In 1867 joined consular service and went to Peking, served as vice-consul and consul in various parts of China. Returned to England in 1892, lived until 1897 in Aberdeen. In 1897 succeeded Wade as Professor of Chinese at Cambridge. Retired in 1932. His main work was the famous dictionary, establishing the Wade-Giles system of transcription. Married 1870 Catherine Maria Fenn (d. 1882), six sons and three daughters, again 1883 Elise Edersheim (d. 1921), one daughter. Two of his sons served as consuls in China and one was the Sinologist Lionel G. (1875–1958).
Publications: Chinese–English Dictionary. 46+1415 p. L. 1892, 2nd rev. & enl. ed. 1813 p. Shanghai 1912 and many further editions; translated Chinese classics; further works on Sinology.
– Translated: Travels of Fa-hsien (399-414 A.D.): Or Record of the Buddhistic Kingdoms. 10+129 p. L. 1877 (with slightly different title), new ed. 96 p. Cambridge 1923.
– “The Memoirs of H. A. Giles”, East Asian History 13, 1997, 1-90 (written 1925).
Sources: D.N.B. 1931–1940, 338f.; *J. Ryan, Oxford D.N.B. 2004; J.C. Ting, British Contribution to Chinese Studies. 1258-1388; Wikipedia with photo.
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