“Whether judged as fiction or as historical reconstruction, [this] is a masterpiece of style and narration.”
“An unforgettable book of historical re-creation.”
—The New Republic
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This is an excellent book for learning about life for ordinary people in rural China. The author weaves together historical exposition and narrative storytelling to paint a vivid... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Paolo & Francesca
Enjoyed this and look forward to reading more of Spence's work: https://anakalianwhims.wordpress.com/2015/01/25/chinese-history-at-lunch/Published 21 months ago by AnakaliaKlemm
It's more of a historical reconstruction of 17th century Chinese life than a narrative strictly speaking, and Spence's erudition on the subject is frighteningly comprehensive. Read morePublished on November 17, 2013 by jafrank
Very interesting and educational. Didn't expect for woman Wang to appear only in the last 30 pages or so out of 140.Published on March 8, 2013 by Nichole
I love Asian History but let me save you some time in your life.
132 pages of dry written history that oft repeats itself. Read more
I had to pick up this book for a Chinese history class at college. Don't be discouraged by the title, once you open it up and start thumbing through it, the book manages to hold... Read morePublished on August 15, 2011 by Silk
. This book is very enlightening in the life of women and Chinese people in general in ancient China. Read morePublished on May 4, 2011 by Kit Arndt
A long time ago, when I was first studying Chinese history, I read a lot of Jonathan Spence. In college, I thought his "Gate of Heavenly Peace" very good, his "Search for Modern... Read morePublished on April 22, 2010 by Jiang Xueqin
It may be a good historical reference, but it is tediously written. It's so boring (and this is coming from someone who loves history and will read practically anything esoteric... Read morePublished on September 11, 2009 by S. Salcedo