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Jiajing yilai shoufu zhuan 嘉靖以來首輔傳

The Four Categories of Literature
Jiajing yilai shoufu zhuan 嘉靖以來首輔傳 "Biographies of government heads since the Jiajing reign" is a collection of biographies of high ministers from the mid-Ming period 明 (1368-1644). The 8 juan "scrolls" long book was compiled by the Ming period scholar Wang Shizhen 王世貞 (1526-1590). It starts during the Jiajing reign 嘉靖 (1522-1566), when the emperor revived the Grand Secretariat (neige 内閣) as the head institution of the central government. It mainly includes the biographies of Counsellors (shoufu 首輔, shoukui 首揆), but also includes some information of other members of the Grand Secretariat. The text is very detailed and reliable and offers a brilliant picture of the work in the central administration of the Ming empire. It is a valuable addition to official sources like the official dynastic history Mingshi 明史.
The oldest surviving print dates from 1617. Another print is included in Zhang Haipeng's 張海鵬 Jieyueshanfang huichao 借月山房匯抄 from the Jiaqing reign 嘉慶 (1796-1820). In 1920 the Boguzhai Studio 博古齋 in Shanghai published a faksimile of Zhang's print.


Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (ed. 1996), Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 984.

March 12, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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