20 juan in four vols. 8vo, orig. wrappers, orig. stitching. [China]: n.d. but 1893-1934.
A scholarly edition of this imperially authorized examination of the origins of the Manchus; it is a major work of court historiography produced under the Qianlong emperor.
This work, completed in 1783, “aimed to establish a grand narrative of Manchu history linking the founders of the Manchu Qing dynasty to those of the Jurchen Jin centuries before, both in terms of ancestry as well as in terms of shared geographical origins in the Changbai Mountains…By grounding the Manchus firmly in Chinese antiquity and by framing the rise of the Manchus to imperial power as the outcome of inexorable historical process, Qianlong succeeded in providing all Manchus with their first coherent ‘national’ history. But the Researches did more than just this. Because it included sections on geography, genealogy, and customs, Qianlong’s compilation, like his earlier poem on Mukden, fleshed out others aspects of the Manchu heritage and helped in the construction of a more stable (so he hoped) identity that would endure beyond his own reign and serve to perpetuate Qing rule for generations to come.”–Mark C. Elliott, Emperor Qianlong. Son of Heaven, Man of the World, pp. 59-60–(and see pp. 58-60 for a full account).
The nominal supervisors of the original compilation of this work were Agui (1717-97) and Minzhong Yu (1714-80). Both were confidants of the Qianlong emperor.
Fine set, preserved in a hantao.
❧ Pamela Kyle Crossley, “Manzhou Yuanliu Kao and the Formalization of the Manchu Heritage” in The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 46, No. 4 (Nov. 1987), pp. 761-90.
Item ID: 7813