William Dolby

Classical Chinese Translations and Research

header photo

20. Gold-producing Mansion


Book Details

"Gold Producing Mansion", a Yüan Variety Play Drama by Wu Hanchen as translated and introduced by William Dolby. This work represents the 20th of 33 of the Chinese Culture Series.

Please contact us on availablity of this work

One of the court-room dramas so beloved of Chinese audiences, and latterly of many Western ones, with its dream and hope of a judicial saviour who dares to beard even established brute power, Gold-producing Mansion (Sheng-jin ge) has Bao Zheng, the most famous Chinese judge of them all, as its main character. Commuting between the mortal and the Afterlife worlds, Judge Bao pits himself, with bravery and careful subtlety, against a brutal and powerful lord. The play includes murders most foul and also much zany humour and anarchic farce, involving a crowd-chasing but ultimately rather nervous head-carrying ghost, and a beautiful but timorous court-clerk.

This book goes into the language of the Yuan or Ming dynasty play Gold-producing Mansion, trying to explain the play’s every linguistic item, the easy, the difficult and the apparently imponderable, facing up to every challenge. The textbook dispenses with the need for dictionary-slogging, providing the lucidly formatted Chinese character-text, a full Romanisation of its pronunciations, a concurrent vocabulary of every word and phrase, with extensive background material to allow greater than usual depth of understanding, and a translation of the play, permitting direct and smooth enjoyment of the play in classwork or in private studying, and indeed proffering a considerable gateway to the Yuan Variety Play drama genre as a whole.