GU, Jiegang (1893–1980). The Evolution of Chinese Geography: Semi-Monthly Magazine. Cheng-Fu, Peiping, China: 1st March, 1934 - 16th July, 1937

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81 (of 82) original parts, 7 volumes bound in 6. 4to., (10 x 7 inches). Illustrated throughout with colour printed folding maps, photographs, plans, diagrams, and inserts (a bit browned, one or two stains). Contemporary Chinese half green cloth, marbled paper boards, gilt (thumbed).


A comprehensive attempt to record the changes in Chinese geography from ancient to modern times. A renowned intellectual Gu's academic achievements throughout his long life are 'widely recognised as an invaluable addition to Chinese scholarship, and laid a solid foundation for the rise of modern discipline of Chinese historical geography in China' (Shuhua Fan). With 82 issues, including many double and triple issues - this copy is possibly lacking volume I, number 5, 1st May, 1934 - making up 7 volumes.

As early as 1923, Gu was advocating for using western scientific methods to investigate source materials, especially those about prehistoric China, which quickly caused a sensation in Academic circles throughout China. By the mid-1930's, Gu was regarded as the foremost authority in china in the critical study of Ancient Chinese history. At the University of Yenching Gu 'created the Yu Gong Society (the Society of Chinese Historical Geography). He also coperated from 1934 with other scholars to edit and publish "Yu Gong Ban Yue Kan" (Chinese Historical Geography, a bi-monthly)[ as here], to discuss problems related to ancient geographical terms and regions of China, with the goal to promoted the study of ancient geography. The journal was a response to the controversy over social history in China as well as to Japanese invasion of north-eastern China, and was also a result of Gu's stress on the importance of historical geography to sound historical research" (Shuhua Fan. The Harvard-Yenching Institute and Cultural Engineering: Remaking the Humanities in China, 1924–1951, page 64).

The magazine came to an abrupt end in July of 1937 with the invasion of the Japanese army. Catalogued by Kate Hunter