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Public Success, Private SorrowThe Life and Times of Charles Henry Brewitt-Taylor (1857-1938), China Customs Commissioner and Pioneer Translator$
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Isidore Cyril Cannon

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9789622099616

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622099616.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Public Success, Private Sorrow

Isidore Cyril Cannon

Hong Kong University Press

Several specialists in Chinese recognize Charles Henry Brewitt-Taylor as the translator who provided the only full English version of the San Kuo chih Yen-i entitled Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The original work was believed to have been written in the fourteenth century by Lo Luan-chung, and the translated version was published in 1925. Up until the 1990s, Brewitt-Taylor's was the only known full English version. Before the twentieth century, novels were recognized more as popular stories instead of literature as they were meant to appeal to those who were less well-educated. Also, this is because these stories were not written in classical or literary language, and traditional scholars found these to be unworthy of serious consideration. However, Brewitt-Taylor's translations—Three Kingdoms, Dream of the Red Chamber, Journey to the West, and The Water Margin—served as important non-classical literature landmarks.

Keywords:   Chinese, Charles Henry Brewitt-Taylor, translation, San Kuo chih Yen-i, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Dream of the Red Chamber, Journey to the West, The Water Margin

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