The Folio Society Announces Illustrated “Three Kingdoms”

March 11, 2013 — London, U.K. — The Folio Society announces the publishing of an impressive four-volume edition of Three Kingdoms. Hailed as ‘The Iliad of China’, it is an epic historical novel documenting the turbulent years when the Chinese empire was divided into three warring kingdoms. Chinese author-in-exile Ma Jian introduces this edition available at http://www.foliosociety.com/book/THK/three-kingdoms ($275).


In Chinese culture, the era of the Three Kingdoms (AD 168-280) has achieved the status of legend, and this remarkable novel, written in the fourteenth century, is one of the great classics of Chinese literature. Arguably the most widely read historical novel in late imperial and modern China, this extraordinary work is essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand Chinese civilization.

While attributed to Luo Guanzhong, it is as much the product of 11 centuries of oral tradition as the fruit of one author’s labour, encompassing and cementing the quasi-mythical status of the era. Ma Jian describes Three Kingdoms as 70 per cent history and 30 per cent fiction.


The Folio Society edition uses Moss Roberts’s immensely readable translation, widely acknowledged as the best available, and features 280 integrated woodcuts from an 1883 edition that were probably created in the workshops that thrived throughout the Quing dynasty (1644-1911).

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