Ts`ao Yin and the K`ang-hsi Emperor
Bondservant and Master, Second edition
Imprint: Yale University Press
In this highly praised book, Jonathan D. Spence recounts the story of Ts'ao Yin, hereditary bondservant to the Manchu emperors. Ts'ao Yin, whose great-grandfather was captured and enslaved by the Manchus and whose descendent wrote Dream of the Red Chamber, China's most famous novel, becomes the focal point of a fascinating study that sheds light on the social and political life of the early Manchu period. This edition of Ts'ao Yin and the K'ang-hsi Emperor has a new introduction by Jonathan D. Spence.
"A brilliant synthesis of biographical, social, economic and institutional history,this book is a 'life and times' in the best sense of the term. It uses Ts'ao Yin's career to illuminate the Chinese governmental institutions in which he served between 1674 and 1712, and these institutions to explain the twists and turns of his own progress. . . . This masterly work is clearly a 'must' for all those who are interested in the long and eventful reign of the K'ang-hsi Emperor, which . . . still remains one of the most fascinating and rewarding periods in Chinese history."—C.R. Boxer, Journal of Asian History
"A significant portrait of a family, a society, and part of an age."—Wang Gungwu, Journal of Asian Studies
"[A] remarkably fine history of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Chinese social and political institutions. . . . Rewarding as well as delightful reading."—E-tu Zen Sun, Journal of the American Oriental Society
"A complex, intelligent work. . . . What it meant to be textile commissioner, salt censor, imperial host, imperial informant, general member of the upper class—all of this, in all its industrial, financial, administrative, and cultural implications—comes to life."—Joseph R. Levenson, American Historical Review