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China and the Chinese

Herbert Allen Giles

Book Overview: 

Herbert Allen Giles spent several years as a diplomat in China and in 1897 was appointed Cambridge University’s second professor of Chinese. His published works cover Chinese language and literature, history and philosophy.

This series of lectures, published as “China and the Chinese”, was given at Columbia University in 1902, to mark the establishment of a Chinese professorship there. The lectures were not intended for the specialist, more to urge a wider and more systematic study of China and its culture, and to encourage new students into the field.

While many of the observations are just as relevant today, others will remind us how much China has changed since the period of the Manchu Qing dynasty in which he wrote.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .B.C.

Part III consists of eight important and interesting chapters: (1) on the Rites and Ceremonies of the period covered, (2) on Music, (3) on the Pitch-pipes, a series of twelve bamboo tubes of varying lengths, the notes from which were supposed to be bound up in some mysterious way with the good and bad fortunes of mankind, (4) on the Calendar, (5) on the Stars, (6) on the Imperial Sacrifices to Heaven and Earth, (7) on the Waterways of the Empire, and lastly (8) on Commerce, Coinage, etc.

Part IV deals with the reigns, so to speak, of the vassal nobles under the feudal system, the reigns of the suzerains having been already included in Part I.

Part V consists of biographies of the most eminent men who came to the front during the whole period covered.

These biographies are by no means confined to virtuous statesmen or heroic generals, as we might very reasonably have expected. The [47] Chinese historian took a much broader. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The title, and the fact that this is a Penguin classic, attracted me. I really, really enjoyed this read. The stories were quite short, some only a paragraph in length, and the longest ones being perhaps 4-5 pages. And they were strange indeed, strange is definitely an understatement. They were very

Pu Songling (1640 - 1715) collected these tales of the supernatural and uncanny and left them to his sons in the form of 110 handwritten, loose-leaf sheets. They have since been published many times, with additions and deletions, and been drawn upon by other authors (and playwrights, and television

A selection of pieces from a classic of Chinese literature dating from the 1600s. These are early examples of a literary tradition of accounts of the weird (zhiguai) and the strange (chuanqi), which Pu Songling famously combined in his writing. So here are weird tales of hauntings as in “The Golden

"Read these tales properly, and they will make you strong and brave; read them in the wrong way, and they will possess you."
- Feng Zhenluan
Early nineteenth century commentator on the Strange Tales

I honestly don’t know how to begin with reviewing a book like this. Normally with short story collection

According to John Minford (whose translation in the Penguin edition of some of these strange tales is my preferred translation of this book: Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio), what readers are about to experience here are

"longer stories with complex plots, often involving relationships between m

thất vọng bàng hoàng đến câm nín luôn :|
review mai bình tĩnh lại sẽ viết vậy :(
Nhớ lại cách đây hơn 7 năm, tui từng mê mẩn với loạt phim Liêu trai chí dị chiếu trên tivi lúc 12h trưa, tui dán mắt vô tv mòn mỏi ngày ngày qua ngày khác, coi đi coi lại, coi mê mẩn một phần vì dàn diễn viên đẹp lộ


nicely terped

although the selected stories are not in the round(you know, at that time, the terp translated this directly from classical chinese, it was so hard, absolutely much more harder than reading old english, such as BEOWULF, for me), but it still gives me a fresh stunning exp

Không biết là lần đọc này là lần thứ mấy. Chỉ nhớ những lần trước thì đọc chăng hay chớ, lúc đọc truyện này lúc lại đọc truyện khác trong tập. Mà là quyển khác, thường thấy Chu Văn giới thiệu, nhưng nay đọc bản này - do Đào Trinh Nhất dịch, thì đoán bản trước kia vẫn đọc là do Tản Đà Nguyễn Khắc Hiế

This is the kind of book that, when read carefully, can transform the English reader from perfect ignorance of Chinese culture to nerd-like engagement with aesthetics, society, history, mythology, folklore, science, medicine, technology, and the list goes on and on. It's really worth remembering how

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