Item ID: 9593 A collectanea from the “Study Hut of Xu and Zheng” [Xu Zheng xue lu 鄦鄭學廬]. Shijie 施世杰 SHI, ed.

A Collection of Texts on China’s Relations with Central Asia

A collectanea from the “Study Hut of Xu and Zheng” [Xu Zheng xue lu 鄦鄭學廬]

34; 91; 27 folding leaves. Three vols. 8vo, orig. wrappers, orig. stitching. [China]: Xu Zheng xue lu, 1897.

First edition of this so-called “collectanea” (congshu 叢書) of texts related to China’s historical interaction with Central and Inner Asia. The Manchu-led Qing empire always had intimate connections to Inner Asia, but century Chinese scholars and officials became more directly involved in the administration of and research on these regions in the 19th century. As China was being directly impacted by power-struggles among the Western powers in their immediate vicinity, such as the Anglo-Russo rivalry of the Great Game, interest in the lands north and west of China only grew. These four works reflect this interest; three explicitly treat the period of Mongol rule in China and its surrounding region in the 12th century, and one work focuses on Russia.

The collection comprises:

1. Yuan Yelü Chucai xi you lu zhu 元耶律楚材西遊錄注 (the title is given as Xiyou luzhu 西游錄注 on the title-page) [Yelü Chucai of the Yuan’s Annotated 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. The book was finished in 1229. It records things seen and heard on the journey, as well as Yelü Chucai’s Buddhist criticism of religious Daoism, of which Yelü encountered a prominent representative while serving Genghis.

2. Helin shi bing zhu 和林詩并注 [Poetry on Qaraqorum, with Annotations] by Li Wentian 李文田 (1834-95), a conservative statesman “best known as a student of Mongol history” (Momose, “Li Wên-t’ien,” 495).

3. Yuan bi shi shan chuan di ming kao 元祕史山川地名考 [Examination of the Names of Mountains, Rivers, and Localities in the “Secret History of the Mongols”] by Shi Shijie, the editor of our collection.

4. Shuo fang bei cheng zha ji 朔方備乘札記 [The “Historical Source-book of the Northern Regions” Notebook]. Li Wentian’s annotations to He Qiutao’s 何秋濤 (1824-62) “compendium of documentary sources with notes, commentaries, tables, and maps.” This book was “the first comprehensive…work on Sino-Russian relations” (Tu, “Ho Ch’iu-t’ao,” 283).

The imprint Xu-Zheng xuelu (Study Hut of Xu and Zheng) refers to two ancient states in what is now the Henan province of China. Some catalogues give Xu-Zheng xuelu congke 鄦鄭學廬叢刻 as the title of the collection, but we do not find that title anywhere on the book itself. See WorldCat 122729855.

Fine set, preserved in a hantao.


Momose, Hiromu. “Li Wên-t’ien.” In Eminent Chinese of the Ch’ing Period. Vol. 1. Edited by Arthur W. Hummel. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1944.

Tu Lien-chê. “Ho Ch’iu-t’ao.” In Eminent Chinese of the Ch’ing Period. Vol. 1.

Price: $1,500.00

Item ID: 9593

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