A Ming Confucian’s World: Selections from Miscellaneous Records from the Bean Garden
By Lu Rong, translated and introduced by Mark Halperin
University of Washington Press, forthcoming April 2022
On the eve of the sixteenth-century economic transformation and the age of exploration that was to propel China into the modern world, the scholar-official Lu Rong (1436-94) recorded his observations of contemporary society in Miscellaneous Records from the Bean Garden. Within its genre, Bean Garden is unusual in its author’s willingness to express admiration, frustration, and outrage toward his subjects. Mark Halperin has selected about a quarter of the pieces from the original work, arranging them in topical categories that provide a richly textured first-hand observation of late imperial China designed for course use with undergraduates.