Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1947. First Edition. Hardcover. Contains 4 stand alone maps in pocket attached to inside of Vol. II; four sheets meant to be placed together to make a full, complete map. NOT ex-library.
Very rare. Following description applies to both volumes unless otherwise noted. Used - Very Good. Dark blue cloth boards with gilt lettering to spine. Corners are bumped, slightly worn. Binding tight and square. Light toning. Light pencil annotations in text block. B/W photographs. 18 x 26 cm. 274 pp. (Vol. 1). 280 pp. (Vol. 2) / Fair/Good. Some tears, repaired where possible. Price clipped. Some toning. Brodart protective cover applied. Item #10984
Part of the Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph series, Volume VIII and IX.
Joseph F. Rock (约瑟夫·洛克) wore many hats during his life. Botanist. Geographer. Explorer. He established the first ever herbarium at the University of Hawaii and has several plants named after him, including Rock's Tree Peony or Paeonia rockii which can be found in the Gansu mountains of western China.
In the early 1900’s Rock spent 12 years exploring various parts of western China, some which were at that time relatively unknown to the rest of the world. These included Sichuan, Kunming and Tibet, and their surrounding regions. Through his explorations Rock had extensive contact with the Na-khi tribe known in Chinese as 納西族. To better understand the Na-Khi and their culture Rock studied their language which was even then sparsely used if at all.
This two-volume set published in 1947 by Harvard University Press is Rock’s attempt to bring the history, culture and geography of western China to a western audience. In addition to the first-hand information he learned from his explorations, Rock used many of his own, personal sources including Chinese literature which he acquired during his travels using a ‘major part of [his] savings’ to write this book.
The book contains 256 black and white plates many of which are of original photographs taken by Rock himself.