Guo Songdao 1818-1891

A native of Xiangyin, Hunan province, he received his jinshi degree in 1847. Despite having lost his posting as acting governor of Guangdong in 1866 due to conflicts with Zuo Zongtang, Guo was called back into service in 1875. He was appointed minister to Britain in 1876 and in 1878 was given the additional portfolio of France. His mission to Britain took him through some eighteen countries en route and produced two diaries, Diplomatic Journey to the West and London and Paris Diary. In 1879 he was forced to resign from his post because of pressure from the conservative camp.