Cover: The Monkey and the Inkpot: Natural History and Its Transformations in Early Modern China, from Harvard University PressCover: The Monkey and the Inkpot in HARDCOVER

The Monkey and the Inkpot

Natural History and Its Transformations in Early Modern China

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Product Details


$50.00 • £36.95 • €45.00

ISBN 9780674035294

Publication: October 2009


250 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

11 line illustrations


A fascinating, informative study for readers interested in the history of medicine or natural knowledge in China.—J. W. Dauben, Choice

This first book-length treatment of the [Bencao Gangmu] in English contains a great deal of interest and is undoubtedly a major contribution to its field.—Steve Moore, Fortean Times

Carla Nappi takes us into one of the greatest Chinese encyclopedias of the natural world and its medicinal properties, the Bencao gangmu, which inspired the vision of the Chinese encyclopedia that haunts the pages of Borges and Foucault. Nappi draws us into the Bencao’s complexities, and into the fertile and restless mind of its creator, Li Shizhen. Nappi opens the door on Li’s cabinet of wonders.—Paula Findlen, Stanford University