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Unless otherwise specified, the descriptions of sources in this section are extracted from Pierre-Etienne Will and collaborators,Official Handbooks and Anthologies of Imperial China: A Descriptive and Critical Bibliography (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming).
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TitleHuanyou ouji 宦游偶記[Random Notes from an Official’s Voyages]
Topic4.1 Magistrates handbooks: General
Historical periodLate Qing (1797-1911)
AuthorChen Weiyan 陳惟彥
CollectionGuanzhen shu jicheng 官箴書集成
Number of volume10
Publication typeWoodblock
CommentRem.: In the Qiangben tang huibian ed. the chapter headings indicate that the materials are Chen’s drafts (yigao 遺稿) arranged by his fellow countryman, Xu Jiansheng 徐建生, while at the end of j. 2 in the 1918 ed. his younger brother Chen Weiren is said to have “recorded” (謹錄) the work. The latter is a mix of administrative pieces (correspondences, reports, proclamations, judicial decisions, and the like) and records of various affairs narrated in the first person, equivalent to a sort of autobiography. Some of the entries are provided with footnotes, either by the author himself or by other people. J. 1 includes entries from the seven years, beginning in 1894, that Chen spent as a department magistrate and prefect in Guizhou, in Kaizhou 開州 and several other places; it provides much information on local customs, including poppy cultivation and the opium problem. J. 2 is devoted to his other functions (see below), with a number of texts dealing with financial problems and salt administration. Chen appears to have been a kind of old-style model official, efficient and close to the people, uncompromising and intimidating to his colleagues, and in frequent conflict with his superiors (there is a detailed entry on his disputes with Duanfang 端方, the reform-minded Liang-Jiang governor-general, in 1907). The prefaces (including Chen’s own) insist on the example offered to future officials by this record of a model official of the former regime; Zhang Jian’s preface also says that Chen’s narrative provides a “mirror” of the overthrow of the Qing. [n.p., phtc. en entier]
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