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Fifteen sad and very haunting tales translated from the original Chinese depicting the chaos and misery of the era. Often glossed over as a "period of transition" it was more than that--it was a period of devastation and savagery and unbelievable suffering. If you need a visual image, it should be tigers. While normally dwelling in wooded places, they ventured into China's cities to feed off the human carrion. This book should be read together with Ray Huang's 1587: A Year of no Significance.
I found this very difficult to read. The immense importance of the translation of historical, eye-witness accounts of China in the tumultuous period of the mid to late 1600's is no lost on me. However, for someone (me) with only a very simple, cursory understanding of Chinese history it was difficult to follow. Struve makes great attempts to explain background and context of each essay within which made the text at least understandable. There is absolutely no fault on her part and I appreciated
Very well selected translation of primary sources. Strong recommend for Late Imperial China scholars. Probably even fun for nonspecialists!Read for class
Firsthand history - diaries, eye-witnesses - in very troubled times. Fifteen different accounts. A major siege seen from the inside - with a massacre at the end - sticks in my head.
A moving and diverse collection of translations of primary documents from a tumultuous period.