SOAS University of London

Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS)

Ed Weech

BA (SOAS) MA (UCL) MPhil (Trinity College Dublin)


Weech Ed - CCLPS IMG - 240 186 56
Ed Weech
Email address:
Thesis title:
Lineages and legacies: Thomas Manning and the early British study of China, 1800-1830
Internal Supervisors


I am Librarian at the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. I have a BA in History from SOAS, an MPhil in History from Trinity College Dublin, and an MA in Library and Information Studies from University College London.

I have served on the committees of several professional organizations and am a member of numerous historical and literary societies. My book reviews, essays and chapters on library history, and works of cultural criticism, have appeared in a variety of books and periodicals, in print and online, including the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Times Literary Supplement, and Electric Ghost Magazine.

PhD Research

My doctoral research comprises a case study of Thomas Manning (1772-1840), one of the first Englishmen to study Chinese. Manning was an independent scholar, rather than a diplomat, merchant, or missionary, and he professed a desire to learn about China for secular and humanist purposes. Drawing on new archival sources, this case study promises to shed new light on Manning’s underlying motivations, providing an original perspective on Oriental studies in late-Georgian England.


“‘Paris to a Stranger Is a Desert Full of Knaves & Whores – Like London’: Thomas Manning’s European Encounter, 1802-1805”, Litteraria Pragensia, 2019 (Vol. 29, No. 57), 75-90.

"Thomas Manning and the Coleridge Circle", The Coleridge Bulletin (New Series 52, Winter 2018), 27-34.

"'All the Beauties of the Road': Thomas Manning’s Romantic Visions, from the Lakes to Tibet, 1799-1812", The Charles Lamb Bulletin (Spring 2018, New Series No 167), 7-17.


--“Thomas Manning: English Visionary, Sinological Eccentric?”, Crossing Borders: Sinology in Translation Studies. Chinese University of Hong Kong, 13-15 June 2019.

-- “‘Far Beyond Coleridge or any Man in Power of Impressing’: Thomas Manning and the Coleridge Circle”. Friends of Coleridge Summer Conference. Jesus College, University of Cambridge, 6-9 August 2018.

-- “‘Paris to a Stranger is a Desert Full of Knaves & Whores – Like London’: Thomas Manning’s Romantic Europe, 1802-1805”. Exiles, Émigrés and Expatriates in Romantic-Era Paris and London. École Normale Supérieure, 12- 13 April 2018.

--“The Thomas Manning Archive and Prospects for a New Perspective on British Intellectual Engagement with China in the Early 1800s”, with Nancy Charley. The Inexplicable and the Unfathomable: China and Britain, 1600-1900. The Courtauld Institute of Art, 11-12 November 2016.

Selected Lectures

--“Systems of Religion and Morality in the Collections of the Royal Asiatic Society”. Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 6 June 2019; Oxford Centre of Islamic Studies, 15 October 2018.

-- “Thomas Manning as a Romantic”. The Charles Lamb Society, October 2017.