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Myths and Legends of China   By: (1864-1954)

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In "Myths and Legends of China" by E. T. C. Werner, readers are taken on an enchanting journey through the rich tapestry of Chinese folklore. This comprehensive collection of myths and legends offers a captivating insight into the ancient Chinese civilization, its beliefs, and the fantastical tales that have been passed down through generations.

Werner's scholarly approach brings authenticity to the stories, providing readers with a deep understanding of their historical and cultural significance. The book beautifully weaves together elements of mythology, history, and spirituality, immersing readers in a world where gods, goddesses, immortals, and demons coexist. Each tale is carefully crafted, encompassing themes of morality, honor, love, and sacrifice.

One of the strengths of this book lies in Werner's ability to present the myths and legends in a coherent and engaging manner. The storytelling is both vivid and engaging, allowing readers to visualize the scenes and characters as if they were spectacles unfolding before their eyes. Moreover, the author skillfully incorporates contextual information, providing readers with valuable insight into the cultural and religious beliefs that underpin each story.

Additionally, Werner's extensive research is apparent throughout the book. From the origins of the myths to their various adaptations over time, the author's attention to detail and wealth of knowledge shines through. The inclusion of detailed footnotes further adds to the book's scholarly appeal, allowing readers to delve deeper into specific aspects or references.

However, some readers may find the length and complexity of the book to be daunting. With over 500 pages, it may require commitment and perseverance to fully appreciate the breadth of the material. Additionally, certain passages may require multiple readings to grasp the finer nuances of the myths and their cultural implications.

Nevertheless, "Myths and Legends of China" is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in Chinese folklore, history, or comparative mythology. Werner's deep respect for the subject matter is evident throughout, and his ability to engage readers in the mystical realm of Chinese mythology is commendable. Whether seeking to explore the roots of Chinese culture or wanting to immerse oneself in captivating tales of gods and heroes, this book will undoubtedly captivate and educate readers. It serves as a testament to the enduring power and beauty of mythology in shaping civilizations and their collective consciousness.

First Page:

Myths & Legends of China


E.T.C. Werner

H.B.M. Consul Foochow (Retired) Barrister at law Middle Temple Late Member of The Chinese Government Historiographical Bureau Peking Author of "Descriptive Sociology: Chinese" "China of the Chinese" Etc.

George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd. London Bombay Sydney

In Memoriam

Gladys Nina Chalmers Werner


The chief literary sources of Chinese myths are the Li tai shên hsien t'ung chien , in thirty two volumes, the Shên hsien lieh chuan , in eight volumes, the Fêng shên yen i , in eight volumes, and the Sou shên chi , in ten volumes. In writing the following pages I have translated or paraphrased largely from these works. I have also consulted and at times quoted from the excellent volumes on Chinese Superstitions by Père Henri Doré, comprised in the valuable series Variétés Sinologiques , published by the Catholic Mission Press at Shanghai. The native works contained in the Ssu K'u Ch'üan Shu, one of the few public libraries in Peking, have proved useful for purposes of reference. My heartiest thanks are due to my good friend Mr Mu Hsüeh hsün, a scholar of wide learning and generous disposition, for having kindly allowed me to use his very large and useful library of Chinese books... Continue reading book >>

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