8 December 1845|
|Died||13 February 1935(aged 89)|
Herbert Allen Giles (Chinese: 翟理斯; pinyin: Zhái Lǐsī; 8 December 1845 – 13 February 1935) was a British diplomat, sinologist, and professor of Chinese language. Giles was educated at Charterhouse School before becoming a British diplomat in China. He modified a Mandarin Chinese Romanization system earlier established by Thomas Wade, resulting in the widely known Wade–Giles Chinese romanization system. Among his many works were translations of Confucius, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, and in 1892 the first widely published Chinese-English dictionary.
Herbert A. Giles was the fourth son of John Allen Giles (1808–1884), an Anglican clergyman. After studying at Charterhouse, Herbert became a British diplomat to China (1867–1892). He also spent several years at Fort Santo Domingo (1885–1888) in Tamsui, Taiwan. He was the father of Bertram, Valentine, Lancelot, Edith, Mable, and Lionel Giles. In 1897 Herbert Giles became only the second professor of Chinese appointed at the University of Cambridge, succeeding Thomas Wade. At the time of his appointment, there were no other sinologists at Cambridge. Giles was therefore free to spend most of his time among the ancient Chinese texts earlier donated by Wade, publishing what he translated what he chose from his eclectic reading in Chinese literature.
Giles received the Prix St. Julien award from the French Academy in 1897 for his Chinese Biographical Dictionary. He dedicated the third edition of Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio (1916) to his seven grandchildren, but at the end of his life was on speaking terms with only one of his surviving children. An ardent agnostic, he was also an enthusiastic freemason. He never became a Fellow at one of the constituent colleges of the University of Cambridge, despite being a university professor for 35 years. He finally retired in 1932, and died in his ninetieth year.
- British Vice Consul at Pagoda Island, Mawei (1880–1883)
- British Vice Consul at Shanghai (1883–1885)
- British Consul at Tamsui (1885–1891)
- British Consul at Ningpo (1891–1893)
- Herbert Allen Giles (1872). Chinese Without a Teacher. A.H. de Carvalho.
- Herbert Allen Giles (1873). A Dictionary of Colloquial Idioms in the Mandarin Dialect. A.H. De Carvalho.
- Herbert Allen Giles (1874). Synoptical Studies in the Chinese Character. Kelly & Company.
- Herbert Allen Giles (1876). Chinese Sketches. Trübner & Company.
- H. A. Giles (1877). Handbook of the Swatow Dialect: With a Vocabulary. [Published with the assistance of the Straits' Government].
- Herbert Allen Giles (1877). From Swatow to Canton: (overland). Trübner.
- Herbert Allen Giles (1878). A glossary of reference, on subjects connected with the Far east.
- Herbert Allen Giles (1879). On Some Translations and Mistranslations in Dr. Williams' Syllabic Dictionary of the Chinese Language. A.A. Marçal.
- Songling Pu (1880). Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio. T. De la Rue & Company.
- Herbert Allen GILES; Laozi (1886). The Remains of Lao Tzu.
- Herbert Allen Giles (1892). A Chinese-English Dictionary. B. Quaritch.
- Herbert Allen Giles (1898). A Chinese Biographical Dictionary. B. Quaritch. Endymion Wilkinson notes Giles is "full of inaccuracies and the selection leaves much to be desired. Between one third and and a half of the dates are wrong because Giles supposed that if somebody is recorded as having died in 1200 aged 63 he or she must have been born in 1137 (in most cases 1138 would have been a better guess")." 
- Chinese Poetry in English Verse. 1898.
- History of Chinese Literature (1901)
- Herbert Allen Giles (1901). Chinese Without a Teacher: Being a Collection of Easy and Useful Sentences in the Mandarin Dialect, with a Vocabulary. Kelly & Walsh, limited.
- Herbert Allen Giles (1902). China and the Chinese. Columbia University Press, The Macmillan compay agents.
- Thomas Lowndes Bullock; Herbert Allen Giles (1902). Progressive Exercises in the Chinese Written Language. Kelly & Walsh, limited.
- Launcelot Cranmer-Byng; Herbert Allen Giles (1902). The never-ending wrong: and other renderings of the Chinese from the prose translations of Herbert A. Giles. Grant Richards.
- Herbert Allen Giles (1905). An Introduction to the History of Chinese Pictorial Art. Keloy & Walsh, ld.
- Chinese Fairy Tales (1911)
- The Civilization of China (1911)
- Herbert Allen Giles (1912). China and the Manchus. The University Press.
- "China" in History of the Nations (1913)
- Confucianism and Its Rivals (1915)
- How to Begin Chinese: The Hundred Best Characters (1919)
- The Second Hundred Best Characters (1922)
- Revision of Bullock's Progressive Exercises (1922)
- Chuang Tzǔ: Mystic, Moralist, and Social Reformer (1926, Shanghai)
- The Chinese and Their Food (Zhonghua Fanshi) (1947, Shanghai) (posthumous)
- "The Memoirs of H.A. Giles,"  East Asian History 13 (1997): 1–90. Dated 1925.
- "Herbert Allen GILES (1845–1935)" on the Cambridge University Library website
- A Chinese-English Dictionary (Hua-Ying Zidian) (1892, Shanghai; 1912, London)
- Tao: The Way – Special Edition El Paso Norte Press, 2005 ISBN 1-934255-13-0
- "Giles, Herbert Allen". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Aylmer, Charles, East Asian History 13–14, 1997, pp. 1–7; Sterckx, Roel, In the Fields of Shennong: An inaugural lecture delivered before the University of Cambridge on 30 September 2008 to mark the establishment of the Joseph Needham Professorship of Chinese History, Science and Civilization. Cambridge: Needham Research Institute, 2008.
- Chinese History: A New Manual (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 20120), p. 157.
- Cooley, James C., Jr. T.F. Wade in China: Pioneer in Global Diplomacy 1842–1882. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1981.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
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