The first Chinese characters printed in England.
Joan. Gonzalez de Mendoza.L’Historia del Gran Regno della China.[London, John Wolfe, 1587].
The characters, cut crudely by someone who did not know the language, roughly represent (1) “platform” or “stage”, (2) “marvellous” or “supernatural” and (3) “city” or “wall”.
In 1580 Philip II of Spain sent Mendoza to China to gather information about the country and he did so for some three years. In 1585 the first edition of his extensive description of China was published in Spanish, in Rome - the most informative and popular work on that far-off kingdom to date. It was an immediate success, and an Italian translation by Francesco Avanzo appeared in 1586 which the unscrupulous Wolfe promptly pirated the following year.