Educated at Charterhouse, Herbert Allen Giles was a British diplomat and author of books on China and the Far East. He served as British Vice-consul at Pagoda Island from 1880 to 1883 and at Shanghai from 1883 to 1885. He then became Consul at Tamsui in 1885 and in 1891 at Ningpo. He taught Chinese at Cambridge and, in 1902, became a senior lecturer at Columbia University. His works include Chinese Sketches (1876), Historic China (1882), The Remains of Lao Tzu (1886), China and the Chinese (1902), The Civilization of China (1911), Confucianism and Its Rivals (1915) and The Second Hundred Best Characters (1922).