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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

Two versions of a local tale contain all the elements that feature in this book: stories set in Southern Song and Yuan dynasty Jiangxi province, Jizhou 吉州, to be more precise, or Ji’an, as it was called during the Ming dynasty; local landscapes dotted with shrines and temples; and members of the scholarly elite, or ‘literati’, who wrote about the sites in the local landscape, seeking to assign meaning to those sites. The changes in literati writings about sites in the Jizhou/Ji’an landscape during the Song-Yuan-Ming transition form the subject of the book The men who figure in this account, Magistrate Wu Sidao, his son Wu Xi, the author Li Zhen, and even the local gentleman who initially introduced Wu to the shrine, were all educated men.

Keywords: Ji’an; Ming dynasty; Southern Song; Yuan dynasty Jiangxi province

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