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Chin P'ing Mei: The Adventurous History of Hsi Men and His Six Wi
Chin P'ing Mei: The Adventurous History of Hsi Men and His Six Wi
Chin P'ing Mei: The Adventurous History of Hsi Men and His Six Wi

Chin P'ing Mei: The Adventurous History of Hsi Men and His Six Wives - Anon.

London: The Bodley Head, 1959, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Good — in Poor Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper worn at the edges with loss to the spine ends and corners, closed tears reinforced with tape at the verso. A little age-toning to the edges of the text block. The contents complete, clean and tight.

5th impression, first published 1939.

From the cover: “This is an English version of one of the most famous of Chinese novels, the Chin P’ing Mei. Being a romance of domestic life, with realistic details, this remarkable work was for more than two hundred years regarded as forbidden literature, since its frank treatment of erotic episodes offended against the puritanical canons of official Confucianism. At one time in its history only a single manuscript copy appears to have survived.

Actually, Chin P’ing Mei must be regarded as a moral tale, for the wicked characters come to a bad end, and the one faultless character lives to an honoured old age. It was probably written about 1580 by Hsu Wei, a political personage and a dramatist of note (and it possibly does contain lampoons upon contemporary figures). While the historical background is ostensibly that of the early twelfth century, the novel may be supposed to give us a faithful picture of the manners and fashions of the late sixteenth century. It is a work of astonishing vitality, and must be reckoned among the world’s great novels.

There is a historical introduction by Arthur Waley, which relates the strange vicissitudes of the book, and tells us as much as is known of its actual and alleged authorship.”


Foreword or introduction by Arthur Waley. Size: 8¾" x 5¾". Pale Green boards with Green titling to the Spine. (xxii) 852 pages.
£24.00
Chin P'ing Mei: The Adventurous History of Hsi Men and His Six Wi