Classical Texts in the Collection of the Lige Hall


This work is what remains of a printed collection from the Chongzhen reign (1628–44), containing only two juan out of the original three parts. The collection was compiled with commentaries by Liu Wanchun (died 1645), read by his friends Zhou Zhong and Liang Yusi, and edited by his sons Fanxian and Fanzhi. There are seven prefaces by seven different authors: Zhou Zhong (dated 1635), Liang Yusi (1636), Zheng Eryang (1637), Yuan Pengnian (1636), Xue Cai (1636), Liu Ruozai (1636), and the compiler’s own preface (1637). In his preface, Yuan Pengnian, a fellow official, claimed that the original number of juan was 16. Liang Yusi in his preface put the original number at 15. According to a 19th-century Qing dynasty local history of Taizhou, where the compiler was born, Liu Wanchun received his jin shi degree in 1616 and occupied several posts, including director of the Bureau of Revenue in Jiangxi, vice-director and director of the Bureau of War, and director of the Bureau of Rites. He was killed because he was one of the Ming loyalist officials at the beginning of the Qing dynasty. The two remaining juan of this copy have the subtitle Gu wen (Ancient writings). The first juan contains a collection, with the compiler’s annotations, of some 16 texts by historical figures, beginning with Su Qin (380–284 BC), a political strategist in the Warring States period (476–220 BC) and ending with Sima Xiangru (179–117 BC), an official during the Han best known for his poetry. The second juan has about 20 works, five of which are by Sima Qian (circa 140–86 BC), the author of Shi ji (The records of the grand historian), and ends with four works by Su Shi (1037 –1101), the great Song poet and calligrapher. Attached is also an essay by Liu’s two sons, explaining the construction of Chinese writing characters and the order of strokes of a character.

Last updated: November 14, 2014