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The Painted Maps of the Grand Canal

Title: The Painted Maps of the Grand Canal: A Study of the Ancient Maps of the Grand Canal in the Qing Dynast

Author: Wang Yao

Translated by Lewis James Wright

Reviewed by Wang Yao, Yang Tingting

ISBN: 978-1-84464-595-4

Ebook ISBN: 978-1-84464-596-1

Hardback-358 Pages

September 2020


£75 €90 $120


This book is mainly about the investigation and research on the existing ancient canal maps in Qing Dynasty in China and abroad. This book is divided into five chapters, the author from different angles analyses the maps of Grand Canal in Qing Dynasty. The first chapter introduces the current situation and graphic drawing of canal maps in Qi

ng Dynasty. This chapter mainly introduces the current situation of the maps and the organizations that they belong to at home and abroad, at the same time analyzes the distribution of the canal maps. Based on the classification of the canal diagram, the author completed the list of the existing canal maps of the Qing Dynasty according to certain classification standards and age, so that to provide material support for the following studies. The second chapter is on the basis of focusing on the map text information, In chronological order, showing the characteristics of the canal map, in order to easily grasp the text of the canal map and the imprint of the times. The third chapter is intended to show the regional characteristics of the canal drawing on the basis of the map text information, so as to clearly grasp the spatial narrative characteristics of the canal. The fourth chapter studies the drawing content, the characteristics of the map, the background of the drawing and the transfer of some drawings of the evaluation maps, and the drawing content and map features of the canal transportation maps, which enriches the understanding of the various canals. The last chapter is focusing on the works of canal river in the Qing Dynasty and the management of river canal. On the basis of the canal map with high academic value, this chapter explores the historical value of the canal river drawing, analyzes the important river canal control project and the rivers and lakes.



Content Grand Canal Introduction 1. The Undervalued Charm of Ancient Chinese Maps 2. Results of Existing Research 3. Content and Framework of Research Chapter One Pearls in the Ocean: the Production and Preservation of Maps of the Grand Canal in the Qing Dynasty 1. Major Archives in China and Abroad and the Distribution of Grand Canal Maps 2. Categorization of Maps of the Grand Canal 3. Artistic Techniques and Formatting of Maps of the Grand Canal 4. Purposes and Academic Value of Maps of the Grand Canal Chapter Two History in Illustration: Identifying the Temporal Characteristics of Canal Maps in the Qing Dynasty 1. Maps of the Grand Canal from the Reign of Emperor Kangxi 2. Maps of the Grand Canal from the Reign of Emperor Qianlong 3. Maps of the Grand Canal from the Reigns of Emperors Jiaqing and Daoguang until the 5th Year of Emperor Xianfeng’s Reign 4. Maps of the Grand Canal from the 5th Year of Emperor Xianfeng’s Reign until the End of Emperor Xuantong’s Reign 5. Summary Chapter Three A Portrait of the Land: Different Spatial Narratives in Maps of the Grand Canal 1. The Jiangnan Canal Network and Liyun Channel 2. The Zhong Channel and Segments of the Canal in Shandong Province 3. Southern Canal Network, Northern Canal Network and the Tonghui Channel 4. Summary Chapter Four A Different Kind of Map: Assessment Plans and Maps of Grain Transportation Routes from Qing Dynasty 1. Content of Canal Consulting and Assessment Plans 2. Characterisitics and Background of Canal Assessment Maps 3. Sources and Circulation of some Canal Assessment Maps 4. Contents and Characteristics of Grain Transportation Maps Chapter Five A Vast Enterprise: Maps of Canal Conservancy Projects and the State of Canal Administration during the Qing Dynasty 1. Complete Map of the Grand Canal and Southern Inspection Tour of Emperor Kangxi 2. Maps of Sluices and Dams in the Lower Reaches of the Yellow River During the Qianlong’s Reign and the Administration of Rivers and Canals in Qingkou Area in Kangxi’s Reign 3. Maps of the Grand Canal that Accompanied Memorials to the Grand Council and the Administration of Rivers and Canals in Qingkou Area in Qianlong’s reign 4. Illustrated Guide to Sluices and Reservoirs in the Yellow River Basin and Southern Canal Networkand the Zhong Channel Administration in Qianlong’s reign 5. Complete Map of the Grand Canal in Shandong and the Administration of Canal in Shandong in Emperor Guangxu’s Reign Conclusion Appendix Bibliography


About the Author

Wang Yao graduated from Peking University as a master, and he graduated from the Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies as a PhD. He worked in the Dongcheng District Government in Beijing. And now he’s an assistant Professor of Xinjiang Research office, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. His major is Chinese borderland studies. His special interest are historical geography of Xinjiang in Qing Dynasty (mainly the urban history, the route between Xinjiang and Central Asia. etc), the Chinese ancient maps (mainly including the ancient maps of Xinjiang, the ancient maps of the Grand Canal, the coastal ancient maps .etc) and water conservancy history (mainly including the Grand Canal, the Yellow River and the Hongze Lake. etc). He has published about 20 papers in various journals.

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