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Sexual Life in Ancient China: A Preliminary Survey of Chinese Sex
Sexual Life in Ancient China: A Preliminary Survey of Chinese Sex
Sexual Life in Ancient China: A Preliminary Survey of Chinese Sex
Sexual Life in Ancient China: A Preliminary Survey of Chinese Sex

Sexual Life in Ancient China: A Preliminary Survey of Chinese Sex and Society from Ca. 1500 B.C. Till 1644 A.D. with a New Introduction and Bibliography by Paul R. Goldin - R. H. (Robert Hans) van Gulik

Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1974, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good Dust Wrapper. Unlaminated dust wrapper a little edgeworn and faded, slightly loose. A little age-toning to the edges of the text block. Text complete, clean and tight.

Contains: Colour plates; Black & white plates; Black & white drawings; List of abbreviations; Colour frontispiece;

From the cover: “The history of the present work — the first comprehensive survey of sex and society in ancient China — goes back to 1949, when the author happened to purchase a set of old Chinese printing blocks, belonging to an illustrated erotic album of the Ming period, entitled Hua-ying-chin-chen,Variegated Battle-arrays of the Flowery Camp. These albums, published by a small circle of literati and artists in and around Nanking in a restricted number of copies, were already scarce at the time of their appearance (1570-1650 A.D.). At present they are of the greatest rarity because most of them fell victim to the strict censorship of the Ch’ing dynasty; not more than a dozen or so survive in private collections in China and Japan. Since these illustrated albums are mines of information on Chinese sexual habits, at the same time constituting the only-example of superior Chinese drawings of nudes, the author thought it his duty to make the Hua-ying-chin-chen available to other research-workers by having a few copies struck off, and publishing these in a limited edition, with a brief preface on Chinese sexual habits, the background of erotic art.

When trying to orientate himself on this particular subject, however, he found that there was practically no serious literature available, either in standard Chinese sources or old and modern Western books on China. Thus the author had to turn to lesser-known medical and sexological literature preserved in China and Japan. This, enquiry brought to light a wealth of new data, and while sorting these out and coordinating them with later literature, the , preface to the reprint of the Hua-ying-chin-chen grew into a treatise of more than 200 pages. When in 1951 he finally published the book under the title of Erotic Colour Prints of the Ming Period, it comprised three volumes. This edition was limited to fifty copies only, all of which were presented to institutes of learning in East and West. Despite its restricted circulation the book attracted much attention in sinological and anthropological circles; it was extensively reviewed in scholarly journals and at once quoted in such standard-works as A. C. Kinsey’s book on the American woman, and Mircea Eliade’s study on Yoga. Several other workers in the field, notably Dr. J. Needham of Cambridge University, suggested a number of improvements, which made the author contemplate the publication of a substantial Supplement, embodying those corrections and additions. Then, however, the publisher of the present volume proposed to him to write a book on. ancient Chinese sex and society, and he gladly availed himself of this opportunity for reexamining the subject of ancient Chinese sexual life in its entirety. The results thereof are offered in the present volume Sexual Life in Ancient China, a general survey of Chinese sex and society intended for broader circles of anthropologists and sexologists. The author added an Appendix discussing the historical relation of Chinese and Indian sexual mysticism, and the new light thrown thereby on the origins of Tantrism.

As they now stand, the author’s two books, complement each other. Taking as point of departure the same basic Chinese texts, Erotic Colour Prints of the Ming Period then concentrates on the development of the colour print and Chinese erotic art, whereas Sexual Life in Ancient China takes a broader historical perspective and develops the argument along more general sociological lines. In view of the interest in the subject evinced by research workers in the sociological and related fields, it was decided to issue the present volume in an unrestricted edition. This placed the author under the obligation to put a large number of original and translated passages into Latin. An index of Chinese characters has been added, and also a General Index which, next to names of non-Chinese authors and non-Chinese terms, also lists items of anthropological interest, coordinating the scattered passages on those topics found in the body of the volume.”


Size: 10¾" x 7¾". Green boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [XVII] 392 pages.
£86.30

This one has already found a new owner.