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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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Title[Chongkan] [buzhu] Xiyuan lu jizheng [重刊][補注]洗冤錄集證 [Collected Evidence on The Washing Away of Wrongs]
Topic4.2 Magistrates handbooks: Handbooks for legal experts
Historical periodLate Qing (1797-1911)
AuthorWang Youhuai 王又槐(ed.)
Publication typeWoodblock

Wang Youhuai’s pref. recalls that the new Xiyuan lu version published by the Ministry of Justice (see under Lüli guan jiaozheng Xiyuan lu) made it possible to update the famous Song forensics treatise by making use of more recent medical works. J. 1-4 consist of this official Xiyuan lu recension with Wang Youhuai’s “additions” (增輯) in the upper margin or at the end of each section; they include materials using both the author’s personal experience and other works. This is followed (in j. 5) by “supplements” (補輯) compiled by Li Guanlan, including Xiyuan lu buyi sanze 補遺三則 by Wang Xi 王歙 (z. Yuesun 越孫) (1733) (a magistrate of Qishui 蘄水, Hubei, surname sometimes written 汪), Xiyuan lu beikao (q.v.) in 11 items, Jianyan zashuo 檢驗雜說, and Jianyan zashuo gejue 格訣; the last two texts are said to include valuable new materials on various techniques of forensic examination. The 1803 and 1813 eds. (in j. 5) and the 1825 ed. (as an appendix following j. 5) also include plates representing the skeleton (檢骨圖) with accompanying bone checklist (檢骨格) and list of equipment and paraphernalia used for bone examination (檢骨應用物件); these materials, added to the official Xiyuan lu text in 1770, feature in various placings in all subsequent eds. of Xiyuan lu jizheng (see below); they are sometimes preceded by the memorials that led to their adoption and promulgation. Ch’en Fu-mei (see below) remarks that Wang Youhuai, Li Guanlan, and Sun Guanglie, the three main authors of this recension, were during the same period compiling the edition of the Code with commentaries that had the widest distribution in nineteenth-century China, viz. Da Qing lüli quanzuan jicheng (q.v.) and its sequels.

The Wang Youhuai/Li Guanlan recension was later enriched by various authors under such titles as Buzhu Xiyuan lu jizheng and Chongkan buzhu Xiyuan lu jizheng. In the recension he edited in 1832 (Buzhu...), Ruan Qixin, who had an extended forensic experience both as an officer in one of the Beijing boroughs and in Guangxi, inserted notes and personal observations at various places, as well as a large number of cases, many found in the 1829 Jianyan jizheng (q.v.); they feature in all subsequent editions. Ruan also added a set of 32 rhymed stanzas with commentaries titled Baojian pian 寶鑒篇 (or bian 編)—that is, Xiyuan baojian (q.v.)—and the emergency prescriptions called Jiuji fang 救急方; these two texts are found in j. 5 of the undated Daya tang/Zuiwen tang ed. and of the 1844 Hanmo yuan ed. (alongside several other texts, including Jianyan zashuo and Jianyan zashuo gejue), in the appendices to the 1921 Wenduan lou ed., etc. The original ed. of this Ruan Qixin recension (published after his death by Qi Gong in 1833) was followed by eds. by Li Yanzhang (1835) and Zhang Xifan (1837), whose prefs. can be found in later editions; in the Zhang Xifan ed., a text titled Shixiang milu 石香秘錄, comprising 8 entries, due to Jiang Shixiang 蔣石香 and edited by the former magistrate of Panyu 番禺 (Guangdong), Zhong Zhenlü 仲振旅, and by Zhang Xifan (who also added colors for the upper-margin comments), and essentially consisting of quotes from the official recension, was added to j. 5. The 1843 Tong Lian version (with Zuoli yaoyan appended) is an abridged version of the 1837 Zhang Xifan ed., whose j. 5 has been removed: Tong Lian explains in his pref. that he found the materials therein of little value and preferred to replace them with an exemplary magistrate handbook. The texts excised by Tong were reintroduced in all the later recensions.

The recension edited by Wen Sheng (Chongkan buzhu...), realized in Canton in 1844 (and made necessary, according to his postf., because Zhang Xifan had left taking along the printing blocks of his own recension), inserted new materials in the upper margins and at the end of sections; it added a j. 6 whose exact contents may vary depending on edition, with such texts as Xiyuan lu bianzheng, Xiyuan lu jie, and Jianyan hecan (qq.v.), which are critical of the Qing official Xiyuan lu recension and together constitute the (Xuzeng) Xiyuan lu bianzheng cankao (q.v.), and with Xiubi gu bian 羞閉骨辨 as an appendix; the 1770 memorial presenting the anatomic plates with commentary (檢骨圖格), and the plates themselves, are found in j. 5 (also in the supplement [增] to the 1843 Tong Lian ed.), in the undated Daya tang/Zuiwen tang ed., and elsewhere. The “Canton connection” illustrated by the Zhang Xifan and Wen Sheng eds. is explained in the postf. to the latter by the fact that Guangdong natives “have no respect for life” (輕生), hence many homicides and a high demand for a valuable forensics manual.

Xiyuan lu jizheng and its later enlargements seem to have been the most widely used ed. of Xiyuan lu during the entire nineteenth century. The numerous different editions as well as the considerable numbers of copies surviving in modern libraries attest to the success of the pattern invented by Wang Youhuai and his colleagues at the end of the eighteenth century. Most of the eds. from 1843 to 1882 mentioned above are extremely careful productions, with an elaborate system of punctuation and underline, many of them using inks of two, three or four different colors for the commentaries and citations in the upper margin (some fasc. have the words wuse pi 五色批 xiyuan lu on the cover, counting black as the fifth color); the colored punctuation (jiadan 加丹) was introduced by Zhang Xifan.

Call Numberoki B3885700
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