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A Social History of the Chinese Book: Books And Literati Culture in Late Imperial China (Understanding China: New Viewpoints on History and Culture) [Paperback]

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Item description for A Social History of the Chinese Book: Books And Literati Culture in Late Imperial China (Understanding China: New Viewpoints on History and Culture) by Joseph P. McDermott...

In this learned, yet readable, book, Joseph McDermott introduces the history of the book in China in the late imperial period from 1000 to 1800. He assumes little knowledge of Chinese history or culture and compares the Chinese experience with books with that of other civilizations, particularly the European. Yet he deals with a wide range of issues in the history of the book in China and presents novel analyses of the changes in Chinese woodblock book making over these centuries. He presents a new view of when the printed book replaced the manuscript and what drove that substitution. He explores the distribution and marketing structure of books, and writes fascinatingly on the history of book collecting and about access to private and government book collections. In drawing on a great deal of Chinese, Japanese, and Western research, this book provides a broad account of the way Chinese books were printed, distributed, and consumed by literati and scholars, mainly in the lower Yangzi delta, the cultural center of China during these centuries. It introduces interesting personalities, ranging from wily book collectors to an indigent shoe-repairman collector. And, it discusses the obstacles to the formation of a truly national printed culture for both the well-educated and the struggling reader in recent times. This broad and comprehensive account of the development of printed Chinese culture from 1000 to 1800 is written for anyone interested in the history of the book. It also offers important new insights into the book culture and its place in society for the student of Chinese history and culture.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Hong Kong University Press
Pages   294
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.25" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 15, 2006
Publisher   Hong Kong University Press
ISBN  9622097820  
ISBN13  9789622097827  

Availability  0 units.

More About Joseph P. McDermott

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Dr Joseph P. McDermott is Reader in Chinese History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St John's College. He has published widely on the pre-modern social and economic history of China.

Joseph P. McDermott has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Cambridge.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks
2Books > Subjects > History > Asia > China > General
3Books > Subjects > History > Asia > China
4Books > Subjects > History > Asia > General
5Books > Subjects > History > World > General
6Books > Subjects > History > World
7Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Books & Reading > General
8Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Books & Reading > History of Books
9Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Books & Reading > Literacy
10Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism
11Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Chinese
12Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > General
13Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences
14Books > Subjects > Reference > Publishing & Books > General
15Books > Subjects > Reference > Publishing & Books

Reviews - What do customers think about A Social History of the Chinese Book: Books And Literati Culture in Late Imperial China (Understanding China: New Viewpoints on History and Culture)?

A Joy  Mar 26, 2007
If you love books and enjoy reading about their history, manufacture and circulation, this volume is a must, easy to read and delightfully informative. How interesting to learn that, in the intensely competitive and examination-oriented world of China, scholars and book collectors were reluctant to give access to their treasures.
Covering 800 Years of Chinese Publishing  Feb 19, 2007
To tell the whole story of the 3500 years since printing was invented in China would be too much to ask. This book narrows the subject down to 'only' 800 years from 1000 to 1800 and to only one region, the lower Yangzi delta, and on the one type of reader we know the most about, the literati.

This period encompasses the time when Chinese printing was changing from manuscript to an imprint culture. It also covers four Chinese dynasties: Song (960-1279), Yuan (1232-1367), Ming (1368-1644), Qing (1644-1911).

This book represents a considerable amount of original research into the earliest records of Chinese publishing from Chinese, Japanese and Western records. Dr. McDermott is a lecturer in chinese at Cambridge University.

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