Three Kingdoms: A Historical Novel

Three Kingdoms: A Historical Novel

Paperback

By (author) Luo Guanzhong, Translated by Moss Roberts

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Format
Paperback $32.56
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Format: Paperback | 504 pages
  • Dimensions: 134mm x 208mm x 34mm | 581g
  • Publication date: 30 September 1999
  • Publication City/Country: Berkerley
  • ISBN 10: 0520215850
  • ISBN 13: 9780520215856
  • Edition: Abridged
  • Edition statement: Abridged edition
  • Illustrations note: 1 map
  • Sales rank: 335,662

Product description

Three Kingdoms tells the story of the fateful last reign of the Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220) when the Chinese empire was divided into three warring kingdoms. Writing some twelve hundred years later, the Ming author Luo Guanzhong drew on histories, dramas, and poems portraying the crisis to fashion a sophisticated, compelling narrative that has become the Chinese national epic. This abridged edition captures the novel's intimate and unsparing view of how power is wielded, how diplomacy is conducted, and how wars are planned and fought. As important for Chinese culture as the Homeric epics have been for the West, this Ming dynasty masterpiece continues to be widely influential in China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam, and remains a great work of world literature. This abridged edition is particularly useful for undergraduate courses. For the complete text, see the unabridged edition, now available in two parts: Part One; Part Two

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Author information

Moss Roberts is Professor of Chinese at New York University. He translated an unabridged edition of Three Kingdoms (California, 1992) and is the translator and editor of Chinese Fairy Tales and Fantasies (1979).

Review quote

"The subject matter of "Three Kingdoms has long held an extraordinary grip on the Chinese imagination. . . . No less an authority than Mao Zedong asserted that when he set out on the campaigns that would ultimately bring him to power, "Three Kingdoms was the book he valued most."--Patrick Hanan, "New York Times Book Review

Editorial reviews

TheThree Kingdoms is China's national epic, Homeric tales of politics, war, magic and honour that have enthralled for centuries. It covers a turbulent century (168-280 AD) during which the long-ruling Han dynasty was deposed and the empire divided into three warring kingdoms. Writing 1200 years later the Ming author Luo crafted a sophisticated narrative, more historical novel than saga, from a range of traditional sources that depicted the crisis. This gripping and and highly accessible translation allows Western readers to enjoy what was Mao Zedong's most valued book, tactically and spiritually, when he was fighting his war of reunification. (Kirkus UK)

Back cover copy

""Three Kingdoms gives us the Iliad of China. First of the five great works of traditional prose fiction, this master narrative transforms history into epic and has thereby educated and entertained readers of five centuries with unforgettable exemplars of martial and civic virtue, of personal fidelity and political treachery. Moss Roberts's translation is of surpassing excellence and impeccable scholarship. It should delight and captivate Western readers for many years to come."--Anthony C. Yu, University of Chicago"Moss Roberts's elegant and powerful translation of China's most important historical romance has a stunning directness that aptly conveys the dramatic boldness of the original episodic narrative. English readers may now finally understand why this 15th-century novel so strategically shaped the political worldview of generations of Chinese."--Frederic Wakeman, University of California, Berkeley