marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

The Troubled Empire

The Troubled Empire: China in the Yuan and Ming Dynasties by Timothy Brook

Another author in this series.

Also, another organization of topics.  Hits more on the weather and disasters in this time -- it was, after all, the Little Ice Age -- and less on personal life  Also, more on material possessions.  We have a lot more of them, obviously.  And includes several reports of the sighting of dragons.

Features such tidbits as why widow remarriage was more common than not, though proscribed by Confucian rules; the Persian origin of blue-and-white porcelain (which stemmed from the prohibition on eating from gold or silver plates, creating a demand for a new conspicuous consumption outlet) and the Chinese take over of the field; Marco Polo's account; and more.
Tags: history reviews: far east, history reviews: medieval

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