The Stone Lion and Other Chinese Detective Stories: The Wisdom of Lord Bau

The Stone Lion and Other Chinese Detective Stories: The Wisdom of Lord Bau

The Stone Lion and Other Chinese Detective Stories: The Wisdom of Lord Bau

The Stone Lion and Other Chinese Detective Stories: The Wisdom of Lord Bau

Synopsis

Presents ten tales featuring Lord Bau, a wise judge who was a champion of righteousness and protector of the weak against the powerful.

Excerpt

With a little stretching of the imagination it might be proposed that some Chinese tales dating from the Sung Dynasty were the precursors of modern detective fiction. Numerous stories in which Lord Bau is the chief protagonist bolster this conjecture. Solver of crimes, righter of wrongs, protector of the weak against the powerful, he has been memorialized for the past thousand years in Chinese literature. He appears also as the central character in hundreds of plays and operas. Over the centuries inventive spinners of yarns have turned him into a folk hero, even elevating him to mythical stature, one possessed of the power to communicate with the dead.

The real Bau Jeng was born in the year 999 in Hefei County, Anhui Province. His life span of sixty-nine years coincided roughly with the reigns of Emperors Jen Dzung (998-1022) and Ren Dzung (1023-1063) of the Northern Sung Dynasty.

About his ancestry almost nothing is known. It is believed that he came from a humble family. If he had a wife and children, little creditable information as to their identity survives. He did sit for the civil service examinations and earned exceptionally high grades. This is attested to by existing records of appointments to a variety of government posts. But this lack of documentation did not hinder the creative output of anecdotes about Lord Bau's personal life.

One that is a favorite among storytellers relates that just prior . . .

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