Sexual Life in Ancient China: A Preliminary Survey of Chinese Sex and Society from Ca. 1500 B.C. Till 1644 A.D.

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In 1961 Robert van Gulik published his pioneering overview of Sexual Life in Ancient China. This edition of the work is preceded by an elaborate introduction by Paul Rakita Goldin assessing the value of Van Gulik's volume, the subject itself, and its author.
The introduction is followed by an extensive and up-to-date bibliography on the subject, which guides the modern reader in the
literature on the field which appeared after the publication of Van Gulik's volume.
One of the criticisms in 1961 regarded the Latin translations of passages deemed too explicit by Van Gulik.
In this 2002 edition all Latin has for the first time been translated into unambiguous English, thus making the full text widely available to an academic audience.

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Review: Sexual Life in Ancient China : a Preliminary Survey of Chinese Sex and Society from Ca. 1500 BC Till 1644 AD / by RH Van Gulik ; with a New Introduction and Bibliography by Paul R. Goldin

User Review  - Ivan - Goodreads

An excellent pioneering study of the courtship, romance, sexual relationships and women's destinies in Imperial China. Perhaps this volume would have benefitted from additional references regarding early (BCE) Chinese historical figures, set in the same format as for the litterary ones. Read full review


Later Chou Dynasty 770222 B C
Later Han Dynasty 25220 A D

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About the author (2003)

R.H. van Gulik, (1910-1967) studied Law and Oriental Languages at the Universities of Leiden and Utrecht, and in 1935 took his doctor's degree with honours on a thesis dealing with the horse cult in India, Tibet, and the Far East. Having entered the Netherlands Foreign Service in that same year, he held posts in Tokyo, Chunking (Nanking), Washington, New Delhi, Beirut, and Kuala Lumpur. His last posting was as Netherlands ambassador in Japan. Dr. van Gulik, who, after his thesis, continued to make valuable contributions to Sanskrit and Far Eastern studies, is also well-known as the author of the series of detective stories about Judge Dee.
Paul R. Goldin is Associate Professor of Chinese Thought at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Rituals of the Way: The Philosophy of Xunzi (Open Court, 1999), and The Culture of Sex in Ancient China (University of Hawai'i Press, 2002). He is also a co-editor of the Reader of Traditional Chinese Culture (University of Hawai'i Press).

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