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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 [Traces of Dreams on a Sick Man’s Bed]
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 dictated to the author’s sons as he lay 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 ed. in 1796 and down to 1806, plus those added by his five sons concerning the last year of his life, were published as Bingta menghen luyu. As seen in the pref., 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 a thing: he was looking for “real” traces so as to be sincere and not delude himself. It may be remarked, on the other hand, that both in the pref. and at some points in the text Wang mentions dreams that he had during his illness, where past judicial cases suddenly became clear. The pref. states that the text is intended for Wang’s sons and grandsons to learn that “to acquaint oneself with the world is difficult and to 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 during his long career as a private secretary, the book was regarded as a sort of handbook for muyou. For an abridged combination of the work and its continuation, see under Menghen lu jiechao.

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