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130 GUIDES FOR VEXED TRAVELERS - A SUPPLEMENT Timothy Brook Harvard University Route books first appeared in central China in the latter half of the sixteenth century. By the early seventeenth, the newly flourishing publishing industry was producing these guides in numbers that matched the rising demand for them among commercial and recreational travelers. The spread of these cheaply printed, portable editions in the late Ming was swift, and this has made the task of compiling a comprehensive bibliography of route books next to impossible. Since publishing "Guides for Vexed Travelers" in the previous issue of Ch' ing-shih wen-t' i, I have come upon four more route books, as well as other materials relevant to the study of routes and route books . The following survey of these materials, a note on the social background of route book compilers and editors, and four bibliographic entries have been written to supplement the discussion and bibliography in the earlier article. The first three route books being introduced here are variant editions of the 162-route, 144-route, and 100-route books respectively. Tianxia shuilu lucheng (Water and land routes throughout the empire; #6a) is an openly acknowledged 131 re-issue of Huang Bian's original route book, Yitonq luchenq 2 tuji (Comprehensive routes in maps and notes; #4). Like another Wanli version of this book (#6), this edition includes an upper panel containing information on county names, local products, and the do's and don't's of itinerant commerce, some of it apparently derived from #6. The second route book, Shiwo zhouxinq (Traveling everywhere on my own; #7b), is identical to the copy of #7b listed in the earlier bibliography, with the exception of the title page. The third route book, Shishanq leiyao (The gentlemen's and merchants' concise encyclopedia ; #10a), has the 100-route network already seen in #10 and #11, but is of particular value because it appeared a full century earlier than thcfee two Yongzheng guides. 'More comprehensive than either of its mid-Qing descendants, Shishanq leiyao devotes two and a half of its four juan to a broad range of information for traveling merchants and officials. In the previous article I suggested that the transition from the simple route book to the merchant manual occurred in the eighteenth century; this book however demonstrates that the merchant manual was already in the process of formation by the late Ming. With the fourth book introduced in this supplement, we shift to a genre not mentioned in the earlier article: the nautical route book. Gu hanqhaitu kaoshi (An atlas of old nautical charts, with detailed annotations; #27) is a recent reprint of an untitled nautical route book discovered in a 132 Shanghai bookstore in 1956. The cartographic historian Zhang Sun has determined that this eighteenth-century route book — actually a series of sixty-nine roughly drafted route maps — is a revised copy of a Ming handbook, probably the work of a pilot or ship's captain. This book shows the entire coast of China from north to south in maps which are concerned less with the shape of the coastline than with the visual markers on which a pilot would rely in order to navigate the coast. The route is indicated sometimes by a line marked chuanlu #)£ JR: , sometimes by written explanation. On both counts this book differs greatly from regular route books, but this difference is dictated by the greater difficulties in plotting and recording a nautical course. There exist other sources for certain ocean routes in the Ming and Qing, but they appear as brief sections in larger 3 works and did not serve practical navigational purposes. A few log books of nautical journeys to the Indian Ocean have survived, but these also were not intended to be used as 4 guides. This route book may therefore be unique. Route books like the four just described are not the only sources from which one could reconstruct Ming-Qing routes. Gazetteers are also valuable. Su Tongbing has published an excellent study of civil and military postal routes in the Ming largely on the basis of gazetteers and huidian records; his provincial maps of the main routes are in themselves...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3257
Print ISSN
0884-3236
Pages
pp. 130-140
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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