From Chronic to Acute: R.H. Mathews

Today I went to my favourite neighbourhood bookstore on a quest for some early works of Y.R. Chao. While I didn’t find what I was looking for I did spend some time with Mathews’ Chinese-English Dictionary. It was the 1960 edition but included the preface from the 1943 edition. Excerpt below.

With books no longer coming from the Far East, the need for Chinese dictionaries in this country has grown from chronic to acute. To answer the immediate demands of American students, the Harvard-Yenching Institute has undertaken to revise and reprint two practical dictionaries, (1) C H Fenn’s Pocket Dictionary, which appeared in November 1942, and (2) the present Chinese-English Dictionary by R.H. Mathews, both photolithographed reproductions.