Item ID: 10051 Nan yuan cong gao 南園叢稿 [Assembled Drafts from the Southern Garden]. Xiangwen 張相文 ZHANG.

The Writings of a Pioneer of Chinese Geography

Nan yuan cong gao 南園叢稿 [Assembled Drafts from the Southern Garden].

Four vols. Tall 8vo, orig. wrappers, orig. title-slips (first one not present), orig. stitching. Beijing: Zhongguo di xue hui 中國地學會, 1929.

First edition of this collection of writings by one of the pioneers of Chinese geographical studies.

Zhang Xiangwen (1867-1933) was from a poor family in Jiangsu and made a living as a teacher. One of the subjects Zhang taught was geography, and he did so at a time when this field of study did not have a formalized curriculum or established scholarly organizations in China. To bring disparate geographers like himself in contact with each other, Zhang in 1909 founded the “Chinese Society for the Study of the Earth” (Zhongguo dixue hui), which published our book. Zhang remained at the helm of the organization until 1930 (Wang, Zhongguo dizhi renming lu, 93). Meanwhile, Zhang was a member of parliament and itinerant geographer, conducting fieldwork in the northwest and the south.

The contents of our book are varied and reflects Zhang’s interests far beyond geography. In addition to essays like “Examination of the Great Wall” (Changcheng kao 長城考) and “Record on the New Headquarters of the Society for the Study of the Earth” (Dixue hui xinzhi huisuo ji 地學會新置會所記), we find a number of biographies and an “Examination on whether the Buddha and Confucius Were Contemporaries” (Fo yu Kongzi bingshi kao 佛與孔子並世考). Among the longer works in the collection we note Yelü Chucai xiyou lu jin shi 耶律楚材西游錄今釋 [Modern Explanations to “Yelü Chucai’s Record of a Journey to the West”]. Yelü Chucai (1190-1244) was a Khitan adviser to Genghis Khan, who accompanied the latter in his campaign against Persia. Zhang Xiangwen separately investigated the tomb of Genghis Khan, the record of which is also included in our book.

Fine set, preserved in a hantao. Our edition is rare.

Price: $950.00

Item ID: 10051