The essays in this volume seek to flesh out the diversity of Chinese textual production during the period spanning the tenth and fourteenth centuries when printing became a widely used technology. By exploring the social and political relations that shaped the production and reproduction of printed texts, the impact of intellectual and religious formations on book production, the interaction between print and other media, readership, and the growth of collections, the contributors offer the first comprehensive examination of the cultural history of book production in the first 500 years of the history of printing. In an afterword historian of the early modern European book, Ann Blair, reflects on the volume's implications for the comparative study of the impact of printing.
Lucille Chia (Ph.D., Columbia University) is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside. She is the author of Printing for Profit: The Commercial Publishers of Jianyang, Fuijan (11th-17th Centuries) (Harvard University Asia Center, 2003). Hilde De Weerdt (Ph.D., Harvard University) is University Lecturer in Chinese History at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Pembroke College. She is the author of Competition over Content: Negotiating Standards for the Civil Service Examinations in Imperial China (Harvard University Asia Center, 2007).
This book will appeal to anyone interested in the arts, religions, literature, and history of imperial China. It will also be of use to anyone interested in the history of books and reading.