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Sansheng bianfang beilan 三省邊防備覽

Sep 24, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Sansheng bianfang beilan 三省邊防備覽 is an overview of the defence structures of the three western provinces of Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Hubei. The book of 18 juan length was written by Yan Ruyu 嚴如熤 (1759-1826), courtesy name Bingwen 炳文, style Leyuan 樂園, from Xupu 敘浦, Hunan. Yan was surveillance commissioner (anchashi 按察使) of Shaanxi and also wrote a book on maritime defence, Yangfang beilan 洋防備覽. His collected writings are called Leyuan shiwen ji 樂園詩文集.

The book is the result of a collection of memories written down during more than twenty years of travels in southwest and west China. In a first draft, Yan assembled his notes in the books Sannei fengtu zazhi 三內風土雜志 and Bianjing daolu kao 邊境道路考. He finally decided to submit a refined version of these drafts to responsible officials. This was in 1822.

The book is divided into 11 chapters speaking of geography, traffic (roads and waterways), eminent persons, passes, population, commerce, military affairs, administration, history, and literature. The texts follows a geographical arrangement and is enriched by several maps.

The book was reprinted in 1840 and in 1882. The latter edition, published by the Sanyu Shushi Press 三漁書室, has a length of only 14 juan.

Sources:
Gao Wende 高文德, ed. (1995). Zhongguo shaoshu minzu shi da cidian 中國少數民族史大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin jiaoyu chubanshe), 55.
Li Bingzhong 李秉忠, Wei Canjin 衛燦金, Lin Conglong 林從龍, ed. (1990). Jianming wenshi zhishi cidian 簡明文史知識詞典 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe), 577.
Li Jinglin 李景林 (1956). Cong Sansheng bianfang beilan yi shu kan shiba shiji zhi shijiu shiji, ershi niandai Shaan, Chuan, E san sheng jiaojie diqu shehui guanxi de yi xie edian 從“三省邊防備覽”一書看十八世紀至十九世紀二十年代陝、川、鄂三省交界地區社會關係的一些特點", Shixue jikan 史學集刊, 1956 (4).
Liu Renqing 劉仁慶 (2015). "Sansheng bianfang beilan de zuozhe jiao shenme: Zhishi tanjiu zhi er 《三省邊防備覽》的作者叫什么?——紙史探究之二", Zhi he zaozhi 紙和造紙, 2015 (9).
Wang Songling 王松齡, ed. (1991). Shiyong Zhongguo lishi zhishi cidian 實用中國歷史知識辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 732.
Wang Zhaoming 王兆明, Fu Langyun 傅朗云, ed. (1991). Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Vol. Dili 地理卷 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 6.