16 vols. 8vo, orig. printed wrappers, orig. stitching. [China]: s.n., [after 1934].
First edition of this work on Ming and early Qing history by one of the founders of the field. Meng Sen (1868-1938) was “a pioneer of Ming-Qing history in twentieth-century China. Since early in his life, Meng had been interested in laws and state institutions, both as historical phenomena and as matters crucial to government reform in the last decade of Qing rule.” Meng began his career as a private secretary to a high official, and also worked for Qing constitutional reform. After the establishment of the Republic of China in 1912, Meng was elected to parliament. Yet parliament was disbanded by the would-be autocrat Yuan Shikai, and Meng retreated into scholarship. From 1929 onward, he held regular academic appointments, first in Nanjing and then in Beijing. Meng died shortly after the Japanese occupation of Beijing.
“Meng’s work aroused enormous interest and respect. This was partly because he was the first to make extensive use of Qing archival documents and other unpublished official sources such as the Ming, Qing, and Korean ‘Veritable Records’...to draw modern historical insights, and especially because he opened up as a field of academic research the history of the Manchus and the Latter Jin/Qing state prior to 1644 — which theretofore had been almost exclusively the preserve of the Qing court and the imperial clan…
“Though Meng strove most for solidity in source use and historical judgment, not for immediate political or propagandistic effect, his scholarship did have ideological implications. It demythologized the Manchus, revealing their status…as tribal subjects of the Ming border administration and willing participants in Ming suzerain arrangements during most of their history. It also de-anathematized them by couching their rise to power and their takeover of China proper in state-building and state-consolidating terms.” Our book, Meng’s “voluminous chronicle of Jurchen-Manchu-Qing affairs during Ming times,” was left unfinished at his death (Struve, The Ming-Qing Conflict, 100-101).
Our book contains a list of errata. Meng’s Preface is dated 1934.
Fine set, preserved in two hantao.
Item ID: 10058