By Joseph McDermott
This publication bargains with a variety of concerns at the historical past of the booklet in overdue imperial China (1000 to 1800), generally fascinated about literati guides and readers within the reduce Yangzi delta.
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Extra resources for A Social History of the Chinese Book: Books and Literati Culture in Late Imperial China
The claim of lower production costs and cheaper books is confirmed by the very limited price data we have on carvers’ wages and book prices from the Song through the Yuan and Ming dynasties. These figures are notoriously hard to interpret accurately, since prices for the same title and amount of work could vary greatly according to the quality and availability of labor and materials, the place of production, and the infernally complex irregularities of metallic currency changes and depreciations over the seven centuries of these three distinct dynasties.
Long-term use of these fonts would cut their cost, but many beginning enterprises could not bear the heavy initial outlays or interest rates on loans to meet the starting costs of a printing press and type font. At this time, Milne was seeking funds to print in Chinese his On the Exposition of the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians, and in a separate composition explains why printing this book with woodblocks would be far cheaper than with Western-style moveable type: The expense of preparing a set of good blocks for it will amount, I suppose, to £50 sterling at least.
Between the mid-sixteenth and the mid-seventeenth centuries, hundreds of them gained fame and fortune for themselves and their lineage by means of their delicate thin carving. 123 First recognized as the regional Huizhou style, their skilled use of the carving tools eventually influenced carving styles elsewhere in the empire. 129 Yet, their work, often included as illustrations in the flourishing literati genres of drama, fiction, drama, and print albums, won favor in literati circles. Understandably, then, many Huangs adopted a literati persona, taking on at least one style name (zi) and one soubriquet (hao) in the manner of any aspiring literatus.
A Social History of the Chinese Book: Books and Literati Culture in Late Imperial China by Joseph McDermott