Hardback
April 16, 2009
9780295989068
English
312
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.3 Pounds (US)
$95.00 USD, £72.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Paperback / softback
April 16, 2009
9780295989075
English
312
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.95 Pounds (US)
$35.00 USD, £22.99 GBP
v2.1 Reference

True Crimes in Eighteenth-Century China

Twenty Case Histories

The little-examined genre of legal case narratives is represented in this fascinating volume, the first collection translated into English of criminal cases - most involving homicide - from late imperial China. These true stories of crimes of passion, family conflict, neighborhood feuds, gang violence, and sedition are a treasure trove of information about social relations and legal procedure.

Each narrative describes circumstances leading up to a crime and its discovery, the appearance of the crime scene and the body, the apparent cause of death, speculation about motives and premeditation, and whether self-defense was involved. Detailed testimony is included from the accused and from witnesses, family members, and neighbors, as well as summaries and opinions from local magistrates, their coroners, and other officials higher up the chain of judicial review. Officials explain which law in the Qing dynasty legal code was violated, which corresponding punishment was appropriate, and whether the sentence was eligible for reduction.

These records began as reports from magistrates on homicide cases within their jurisdiction that were required by law to be tried first at the county level, then reviewed by judicial officials at the prefectural, provincial, and national levels, with each administrator adding his own observations to the file. Each case was decided finally in Beijing, in the name of the emperor if not by the monarch himself, before sentences could be carried out and the records permanently filed. All of the cases translated here are from the Qing imperial copies, most of which are now housed in the First Historical Archives, Beijing.

About the Author

Robert E. Hegel is Liselotte Dieckmann Professor of Comparative Literature and professor of Chinese, Washington University, St. Louis.

Reviews

"[T]he material translated . . . consists essentially of initial depositions in the case . . . In this lies their unique value in offering, as does no other source, contemporary accounts of ordinary life . . ."—Geoffrey MacCormack, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, Vol. 54 2011

"A top-notch book. . . . Hegel has judiciously selected these cases to allow the reader access to 'glimpses of lived experience—both personal and administrative in Qing China. . . . Students will be drawn to its engaging case studies, while scholars of the law will enjoy it for comparative purposes."—Ihor Pidhainy, Canadian Journal of History, vXLVI

"His highly engaging writing style makes this volume easily accessible for non-China specialists interested in Qing law, society, and culture. . . . The book is well suited for classroom use and would appeal to a wide audience."—Lisa Tran, Nan Nu, Vol. 12 2010

"There are rich rewards for someone who reads it looking for evidence about women."—Ann Waltner, Journal of Women's History, Summer 2010

"The book will interest students who will find the tabloid-like content alluring and the Chinese legal issues relevant. . . It will also be valuable for scholars investigating China's criminal justice and administrative systems."—The Historian

"Hegel's compilation and translations are of great value in challenging existing and still very strong stereotypes and misunderstandings of Chinese legal history.Hegel's emphasis on the actual writing of these documents and the rhetorical styles employed by magistrates is an important contribution to understanding the relationship between literature, law, and writing in China.[A] critically important primary-source collection to supplement growing scholarship and interest on law and literature in pre-modern China."—Norman P. Ho, NYU Journal of International Law and Politics

Endorsements

"Contains rich and valuable information that sheds light on a range of legal and social issues. These cases provide unique firsthand illustrations of the everyday struggles of the common people during a period of profound historical change and they illustrate the complex dynamics of the Qing legal system during the late imperial era."—Thomas Buoye, University of Tulsa
University of Washington Press
Asian Law Series

9780295989068 : true-crimes-in-eighteenth-century-china-hegel
Hardback
312 Pages
$95.00 USD
9780295989075 : true-crimes-in-eighteenth-century-china-hegel
Paperback / softback
312 Pages
$35.00 USD

Other Titles by Robert E. Hegel

Further Adventures on the Journey to the West

Master of Silent Whistle Studio, translated by Qiancheng Li, Robert E. Hegel, introduction by Qiancheng Li
Oct 2020 - University of Washington Press
$95.00 USD - Hardback
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Idle Talk under the Bean Arbor

Aina the Layman
Sep 2019 - University of Washington Press
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$50.00 USD - Hardback

Slapping the Table in Amazement

Mengchu Ling, translated by Shuhui Yang, Yunqin Yang, introduction by Robert E. Hegel
Jan 2018 - University of Washington Press
$100.00 USD - Hardback
$50.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles from Asian Law Series

The Mandate of Heaven and The Great Ming Code

Jiang Yonglin
Feb 2016 - University of Washington Press
$95.00 USD - Hardback

Legal Reform in Taiwan under Japanese Colonial Rule, 1895-1945

Tay-sheng Wang
Dec 2014 - University of Washington Press
$95.00 USD - Hardback
$35.00 USD - Paperback / softback

The Limits of the Rule of Law in China

edited by Karen G. Turner, James V. Feinerman, R. Kent Guy
Dec 2014 - University of Washington Press
$95.00 USD - Hardback
$35.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in LITERARY COLLECTIONS / Asian / General

Aiiieeeee!, third edition

Frank Chin
Oct 2019 - University of Washington Press
$24.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$95.00 USD - Hardback

Oceans of Longing

Sitor Situmorang, translated by Harry Aveling, Keith Foulcher, Brian Russell Roberts
Oct 2019 - Silkworm Books
$19.50 USD - Paperback / softback

The Nuosu Book of Origins

translated by Mark Bender, Qingchun Luo, with Jjivot Zopqu, series edited byStevan Harrell
Jun 2019 - University of Washington Press
$95.00 USD - Hardback
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in Ethnic minorities & multicultural studies

Totem Pole Carving, second edition

Vickie Jensen
Oct 2020 - University of Washington Press
$29.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Haboo, second edition

Vi Hilbert
Apr 2020 - University of Washington Press
$29.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$95.00 USD - Hardback

Return to the Land of the Head Hunters

Brad Evans
Feb 2020 - University of Washington Press
$35.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$50.00 USD - Hardback