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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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TitleBingta menghen lu 病榻夢痕
Topic4.1 Magistrates handbooks: General
Historical periodEarly Qing (1644-1796)
AuthorWang Huizu 汪輝祖 (Z. Huanzeng 煥曾, H. Longzhuang 龍莊, Guilu 歸廬) (1731-1807) (js. 1775),
Publication typeWoodblock

Recollections of the author dictated to his sons while he was on his “sickbed”—he had become paralyzed in 1795—and edited in the form of a self-nianpu. The materials added by Wang himself after a first edition in 1796 and down to 1806, plus those added by his five sons concerning the last year of his life, were published as the Bingta menghen luyu. As seen in the preface, the title of the work alludes to a line by Su Shi to the effect that “Affairs, like a spring dream, leave no trace” (事如春夢了無痕)—Wang would not say such thing: he has to look for “real” traces to be sincere and not delude himself. It may be remarked, on the other hand, that both in the preface and at some points in the text Wang mentions dreams that he had during his illness, where old cases he had had to deal with suddenly became clear. The preface states that the text is intended for Wang’s sons and grandsons to learn that “to acquaint oneself with the world is difficult and protect one’s self is not easy” (涉世之難保身之不易); in fact, as it discusses extensively its author’s experience and concrete cases dealt with as a private secretary, the book was considered a sort of handbook for muyou. For an abridged combination of the work and its continuation, see under Menghen lu jiechao. [phtc. préf. et postf. des éd. 1850 et 1872; reprendre la préf. de Wang Shijin pour exposé très clair du destin éditorial des oeuvres de Wang Huizu]

Keywordmagistrate handbooks; local government; local administration; muyou; local magistrage; guanzhen shu 官箴書
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