The books you love, the emails you want
Time is running out, opt in before 25 May or you'll stop hearing from us
The Monkey and the Inkpot: Natural History and Its Transformations in Early Modern China (Hardback)Carla Nappi (author)
Hardback 250 Pages / Published: 02/10/2009
- In stock online
- Free UK delivery
This is the story of a Chinese doctor, his book, and the creatures that danced within its pages. "The Monkey and the Inkpot" introduces natural history in sixteenth-century China through the iconic Bencao gangmu (Systematic materia medica) of Li Shizhen (1518-1593). The encyclopedic Bencao gangmu is widely lauded as a classic embodiment of pre-modern Chinese medical thought. In the first book-length study in English of Li's text, Carla Nappi reveals a 'cabinet of curiosities' of gems, beasts, and oddities whose author was devoted to using natural history to guide the application of natural and artificial objects as medical drugs. Nappi examines the making of facts and weighing of evidence in a massive collection where tales of wildmen and dragons were recorded alongside recipes for ginseng and peonies. Nappi challenges the idea of a monolithic tradition of Chinese herbal medicine by showing the importance of debate and disagreement in early modern scholarly and medical culture. "The Monkey and the Inkpot" also illuminates the modern fate of a book that continues to shape alternative healing practices, global pharmaceutical markets, and Chinese culture.
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Number of pages: 250
Weight: 513 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 22 mm
You may also be interested in...
Please sign in to write a review
Thank you for your reservation
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at
When will my order be ready to collect?
Call us on or send us an email at
Unfortunately there has been a problem with your order
Please try again or alternatively you can contact your chosen shop on or send us an email at