For Europeans, Matteo Ricci's mission memoirs proved to be the most comprehensive and accessible book about China. Ricci's account of the early Jesuit mission was immensely popular, receiving translations into most European languages. Until the twentieth century, however, anyone who read Ricci's narrative was not reading what Ricci himself had written. Rather, they were reading a curated translation produced by one of his successors, Nicolas Trigault. The resulting work, De Christiana Expeditione apud Sinas, was an edited translation, substantially the same but often different than Ricci's original manuscript.
This article reexamines Trigault's translation, on its own terms, as an artefact of globalisation. Not only does the adaptation reveal information about the Jesuit missions that Ricci's manuscript did not, but it also had a significant impact on European Catholics, as its dissemination inspired would-be missionaries to seek their vocations in China.