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Despite the importance of books and the written word in Chinese society, the history of the book in China is a topic that has been little explored. This pioneering volume of essays, written by historians, art historians, and literary scholars, introduces the major issues in the social and cultural history of the book in late imperial China. Informed by many insights from the rich literature on the history of the Western book, these essays investigate the relationship between the manuscript and print culture; the emergence of urban and rural publishing centers; the expanding audience for books; the development of niche markets and specialized publishing of fiction, drama, non-Han texts, and genealogies; and more.
List of Illustrations and Tables
PART I: INTRODUCTION
1. On the History of the Book in China—Cynthia J. Brokaw
2. The Ascendance of the Imprint in China—Joseph McDermott
PART II: COMMERCIAL PUBLISHING AND THE EXPANDING MARKET FOR BOOKS
3. Of Three Mountains Street: The Commercial Publishers of Ming Nanjing—Lucille Chia
4. Constructing New Reading Publics in Late Ming China—Anne E. McLaren
5. Reading the Best-Sellers of the Nineteenth Century: Commercial Publications from Sibao—Cynthia J. Brokaw
PART III: PUBLISHING FOR SPECIALIZED AUDIENCES
6. Niche Marketing for Late Imperial Chinese Fiction—Robert E. Hegel
7. Printing as Performance: Literati Playwright-Publishers of the Late Ming—Katherine Carlitz
8. Qing Publishing in Non-Han Languages—Evelyn S. Rawski
9. “Preserving the Bonds of Kin”: Genealogy Masters and Genealogy Production in the Jiangsu-Zhejiang Area in the Qing and Republican Periods—Xu Xiaoman
PART IV: THE BOOK AS A VISUAL MEDIUM
10. Visual Hermeneutics and the Act of Turning the Leaf: A Genealogy of Liu Yuan’s Lingyan ge—Anne Burkus-Chasson
11. Didactic Illustrations in Printed Books: Choice and Consequence—Julia K. Murray
Cynthia J. Brokaw is Associate Professor of History at Ohio State University and author of The Ledgers of Merit and Demerit: Social Change and Moral Order in Late Imperial China (1991). Kai-wing Chow is Professor of History and of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and author of The Rise of Confucian Ritualism in Late Imperial China: Ethics, Classics, and Lineage Discourse (1994) and Publishing, Culture, and Power in Early Modern China (2004).
“An essential survey with massive bibliography.”—Frances Wood Times Literary Supplement (TLS)
"A very useful book on a topic of growing importance and interest. Brokaw's introduction is one of the most valuable and best-written prefaces to an edited volume that I have encountered in some time."—Kent Guy, author of The Emperor's Four Treasures