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The Making of a New Rural Order in South China
Village, Land, and Lineage in Huizhou, 900–1600

Volume 1

$36.99 (C)

  • Date Published: April 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107675643

$ 36.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Among the large caches of private documents discovered and collected in China, few rival the Huizhou sources for the insight they provide into Chinese local society and economy over the past millennium. Having spent decades researching these exceptionally rich sources, Joseph P. McDermott presents in two volumes his findings about the major social and economic changes in this important prefecture of south China from around 900 to 1700. In this first volume, we learn about village settlement, competition among village religious institutions, premodern agricultural production, the management of land and lineage, the rise of the lineage as the dominant institution, and its members' application of commercial practices to local forestry operations. This landmark study of religious life and economic activity, of lineage and land, and of rural residents and urban commercial practices provides a compelling new framework for understanding a distinctive path of economic and social development for premodern China and beyond.

    • Volume 1 of 2 in a landmark study of the social and economic history of China, proposing a new framework for understanding pre-modern East Asia
    • Lays out the long-term development of major institutions of a Chinese village and their changing roles in both secular and religious life from the tenth to sixteenth centuries
    • Represents decades of intensive empirical research by one of the world's leading economic historians of China
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The history of South China is impossible to consider or to write without a historical map of its lineages, as eminent historian Joseph P. McDermott shows in his comprehensive study of rural Huishou, Anhui. The Making of a New Rural Order in South China is a brilliant example of how such work is done as history writing."
    Venus Viana, International Journal of Asian Studies

    "Historians have long been aware that Huizhou, an isolated prefecture in the mountainous interior of modern Anhui province, has produced a body of documentation that is almost unparalleled in its coverage, detailing history at a local level beginning from the late Tang Dynasty through the twentieth century. The documents have attracted the attention of scholars for many decades, but now Joseph P. McDermott has used them to present a unique and incredibly valuable narrative of history at its most local level … This is an important book grounded in meticulous research …"
    Hugo Clark, American Historical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107675643
    • length: 484 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.71kg
    • contains: 15 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Village institutions in the Song and Yuan
    2. Large communal families and lineages: kinship and property in the Song and Yuan
    3. Village institutions in the early and mid Ming
    4. Lineage trusts: success and adversity
    5. Lineage trusts: reforms and their aftermath
    6. Timber futures

  • Author

    Joseph P. McDermott, University of Cambridge
    Joseph P. McDermott is Reader in Chinese History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St John's College. He has published widely on the pre-modern social and economic history of China.

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