[LMB] Judge Dee, was An unexpected Bujold fan?

Michael R N Dolbear m.dolbear at lineone.net
Sun Jun 6 21:03:12 BST 2010

> From: Lois McMaster Bujold <lbujold at myinfmail.com>
> Date: 06 June 2010 16:57

>  > In a "Judge Dee" historical detective novel there is a Chinese
>  > Censor which matches pretty well.
> Sweet, thanks!  Internet isn't well-informed, but I saw various hints,
> and mention of _The Censorial System of Ming China_, which Google Books
> has part of.  Already I've learned (trusting the author) that censors
> owed mroe to Legalism than Confucianism, which trusted good men once in
> office and didn't condone informers.  So Legalism isn't all evil...

> ***  For the interested, the Chinese Imperial Censors as encountered 
> through Robert Van Gulik's Judge Dee books were an inspiration for 
> Imperial Auditors.   (And Dee's earlier career as a district magistrate

> for Miles's role in "The Mountains of Mourning", as well.)
> I first encountered Van Gulik's series back in college, when I read
> of them up.   (Some libraries have them under V, some under G, and some

> under both.)  Van Gulik was a Dutch Sinologist who, among other things,

> was Dutch ambassador to Japan for a while: I read somewhere that he did

> his own translations, into English, Chinese, and Japanese.
> Internal evidence suggests he began by simply translating an original 
> Chinese Judge Dee novel from the 18th Century -- _Dee Goong An_, IIRC
> but then went on to make the mystery series, set in Tang China, more
> more his own.  Judge Dee was a real person, but became something of a 
> folk hero, like Robin Hood -- only different.  Interestingly different 
> I haven't revisited those books in a very long time, huh.
> A quick rummage in my library finds _Dee Goong An_ as _Celebrated Cases

> of Judge Dee_, a Dover reprint from 1976.  There was also one 
> made-for-TV movie of a Judge Dee story, which did not spawn sequels.

Thanks !

The IMDB sez


"Judge Dee" (6 episodes)  (Granada UK B&W)
Traitors in High Places (8 April 1969)   
A Place of Great Evil (15 April 1969)   
The Haunted Pavilion (22 April 1969)   
A Festival of Death (29 April 1969)   
The Day of the Scavengers (6 May 1969)   
The Curse of the Lacquer Screen (13 May 1969)   

The afterword to my Penguin _The Chinese Gold Murders_ (1962) gives the
Chinese sources for the three cases and gives _Dee Goong An_ as first
published in 1949.


Michael Dolbear,
Little Egret in Walton-on-Thames

More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list