Garden of Eloquence / Shuoyuan說苑 (Classics of Chinese Thought) (Hardcover)

Garden of Eloquence / Shuoyuan說苑 (Classics of Chinese Thought) By Liu Xiang, Eric Henry (Introduction by), Andrew Plaks (Editor) Cover Image
By Liu Xiang, Eric Henry (Introduction by), Andrew Plaks (Editor)
Add to Wish List
At Distributor - We Can Usually Get It in 3-8 Days!


In 17 BCE the Han dynasty archivist Liu Xiang presented to the throne a collection of some seven hundred items of varying length, mostly quasi-historical anecdotes and narratives, that he deemed essential reading for wise leadership. Garden of Eloquence (Shuoyuan), divided into twenty books grouped by theme, follows a tradition of narrative writing on historical and philosophical themes that began seven centuries earlier. Long popular in China as a source of allusions and quotations, it preserves late Western Han views concerning history, politics, and ethics. Many of its anecdotes are attributed to Confucius's speeches and teachings that do not appear in earlier texts, demonstrating that long after Confucius's death in 479 BCE it was still possible for new "historical" narratives to be created.

Garden of Eloquence is valuable as a repository of items that originally appeared in other early collections that are no longer extant, and it provides detail on topics as various as astronomy and astrology, yin-yang theory, and quasi-geographical and mystical categories. Eric Henry's unabridged translation with facing Chinese text and extensive annotation will make this important primary source available for the first time to Anglophone world historians.

About the Author

Eric Henry is senior lecturer emeritus of Asian studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780295995199
ISBN-10: 029599519X
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Publication Date: January 16th, 2022
Pages: 1360
Language: English
Series: Classics of Chinese Thought