Item #61 Dream of the Red Chamber. Kao Ngoh Tsao Hsueh-Chin, Chi-Chen Wang.

Dream of the Red Chamber

New York: Doubleday, 1929. First Edition. Hardcover. 1st American edition (in English) of the all–time best selling Chinese novel. A laid–in clipping has offset at page 208 else very good in a price clipped dustjacket with chips, tears, and neat strengthening, but a good jacket, and yes it’s flawed, but the old anvil laughs at many broken hammers, and it’s the only one I’ve had (the cleanest shirt in the hamper) because this book has been hard to find in jacket since the ark docked. Very good / good. Item #61

A novel written in, and set in, the 18th century (Qing dynasty) about conflicts undermining a sizable household, their rise and fall, contrasted alongside their loyalties to, and their plots against, one another, a microcosm that often mirrors the macrocosm of Qing Imperial politics, its ethics, customs, education, religion, economics, laws, culture, and intrigues, during the last period of China’s feudal era. Our 1st American edition is preceded in English by a quirky 1892–1893 Hong Kong edition, but quirky or not, that’s the real 1st edition in English and thus it’s worth more money. The rule that “1st editions are always more valuable than reprints of them” has its exceptions, but the exceptions are so few, and the individual reasons for their exception vary, and vary so haphazardly, that all attempts to form guidelines turn into a long climb up Mt. Anthill, and habitually lead to treeing the wrong bobcat. And in the “so few exceptions to the rule department” here’s my query: Is Kim Jong–un, the only Asian who tests badly?

Price: $500.00

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