The Book of Swindles: Selections from a Late Ming Collection

The Book of Swindles: Selections from a Late Ming Collection


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, January 18

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231178631
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 09/05/2017
Series: Translations from the Asian Classics Series
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 734,797
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Zhang Yingyu (fl. 1612–1617) lived during the Wanli period (1573–1620) of the Ming dynasty.

Christopher Rea is associate professor of Asian studies at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of The Age of Irreverence: A New History of Laughter in China (2015), and the editor of several books, including Humans, Beasts, and Ghosts: Stories and Essays by Qian Zhongshu (Columbia, 2011).

Bruce Rusk is associate professor of Asian studies at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of Critics and Commentators: The Book of Poems as Classic and Literature (2012).

Table of Contents

Translators’ Introduction
Type 1: Misdirection and Theft
Stealing Silk with a Decoy Horse
Handing Over Silver Before Running Off with It
A Clever Trick on a Pig Seller
Pilfering Green Cloth by Pretending to Steal a Goose
Type 2: The Bag Drop
Dropping a Bag by the Roadside to Set Up a Switcheroo
Type 3: Money Changing
A Daoist in a Boat Exchanges Some Gold
Type 4: Misrepresentation
Forged Letters from the Education Intendant Report Auspicious Dreams
Using Broom Handles to Play a Joke on Sedan Bearers
Type 5: False Relations
Inciting a Friend to Commit Adultery and Swindling Away His Land
Type 6: Brokers
A Conniving Broker Takes Paper and Ends Up Paying with His Daughter
A Destitute Broker Takes Some Wax to Pay Off Old Debts
Type 7: Enticement to Gambling
A Stern Warning to a Gambler Provokes Others to Entice Him to Relapse
Type 8: Showing Off Wealth
Impersonating the Son of an Official to Steal a Merchant’s Silver
Flashy Clothing Incites Larceny
Type 9: Scheming for Wealth
Stealing a Business Partner’s Riches Only to Lose One’s Own
Haughtiness Leads to a Lawsuit That Harms Wealth and Health
Type 10: Robbery
Robbing a Pawnshop by Pretending to Leave Goods There
Type 11: Violence
Sticking a Plaster in the Eyes to Steal a Silver Ingot
Type 12: On Boats
Bringing Mirrors Aboard a Boat Invites a Nefarious Plot
Porters Run Off with Cargo from a Boat
Type 13: Poetry
Swindling the Salt Commissioner While Disguised as Daoists
Chen Quan Scams His Way Into the Arms of a Famous Courtesan
Type 14: Fake Silver
Planting a Fake Ingot to Swindle a Farmer
Type 15: Government Underlings
Swindled on the Way Out of a Court Hearing
An Officer Reprimands a Captured Criminal in Order to Halve His Flogging
Type 16: Marriage
Marrying a Street Cleaner and Provoking His Death
Taking a Concubine from Another Province Leads to a Disastrous Lawsuit
Type 17: Illicit Passion
A Geomancer Uses His Wife to Steal a Good Seed
Type 18: Women
Coaxing a Sister-in-Law Into Adultery to Scam Oil and Meat
Three Women Ride Off on Three Horses
A Buddhist Nun Scatters Prayer Beads to Lure a Woman Into Adultery
Type 19: Kidnapping
A Eunuch Cooks Boys to Make a Tonic of Male Essence
Type 20: Corruption in Education
Pretending to Present Silver to an Education Commissioner
Affixing Seals in a Functionary’s Chambers
Silver with Sham Seals Is Switched for Bricks
Robbed by a Gang While Sealing Silver in an Unoccupied Room
A Fake Freeloader Takes Over a Con
Money Stashed with an Innkeeper Is Burgled
Type 21: Monks and Priests
A Buddhist Monk Identifies a Cow as His Mother
Eating Human Fetuses to Fake Fasting
Type 22: Alchemy
Trusting in Alchemy Harms an Entire Family
A Foiled Alchemy Scam Leads to a Poisoning
Type 23: Sorcery
Using Dream Sorcery to Rob a Family
Type 24: Pandering
A Father Searching for His Wastrel Son Himself Falls Into Whoring
Appendix 1: Preface to A New Book for Foiling Swindlers: Strange Tales from the Rivers and Lakes (1617), by Xiong Zhenji
Appendix 2: Story Finding List

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews