Book ID: CBB395332031

A World Trimmed with Fur: Wild Things, Pristine Places, and the Natural Fringes of Qing Rule (2017)


Schlesinger, Jonathan (Author)

Stanford University Press

Publication Date: 2017
Physical Details: 288
Language: English

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, booming demand for natural resources transformed China and its frontiers. Historians of China have described this process in stark terms: pristine borderlands became breadbaskets. Yet Manchu and Mongolian archives reveal a different story. Well before homesteaders arrived, wild objects from the far north became part of elite fashion, and unprecedented consumption had exhausted the region's most precious resources. In A World Trimmed with Fur, Jonathan Schlesinger uses these diverse archives to reveal how Qing rule witnessed not the destruction of unspoiled environments, but their invention. Qing frontiers were never pristine in the nineteenth century―pearlers had stripped riverbeds of mussels, mushroom pickers had uprooted the steppe, and fur-bearing animals had disappeared from the forest. In response, the court turned to "purification;" it registered and arrested poachers, reformed territorial rule, and redefined the boundary between the pristine and the corrupted. Schlesinger's resulting analysis provides a framework for rethinking the global invention of nature.

Reviewed By

Review Shellen X. Wu (2017) Review of "A World Trimmed with Fur: Wild Things, Pristine Places, and the Natural Fringes of Qing Rule". American Historical Review (pp. 1590-1591). unapi

Review Macabe Keliher (2019) Review of "A World Trimmed with Fur: Wild Things, Pristine Places, and the Natural Fringes of Qing Rule". Agricultural History (pp. 193-195). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Cams, Mario
Huang, Yi-Long
Tian, Miao
Teng, Emma
Wang, Wei-dong
Dong, Jie
Nei Menggu Shifan Daxue Xuebao (Ziran Kexue Ban)
East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine
Tsing-hua hsueh-pao (Journal of Tsing-hua University)
Historia Scientiarum: International Journal of the History of Science Society of Japan
Guangxi Minzu Xueyuan Xuebao
Imago Mundi: A Review of Early Cartography
Cambridge University Press
Harvard University Asia Center
University of California Press
UBC Press
University of Chicago
Northern Illinois University Press
Fur trade
Scientific apparatus and instruments
East Asia, civilization and culture
Yi, You
An, Qingqiao
Jie, Xuan
Mei, Wen-Ting
d'Anville, Jean Baptiste Bourguignon
Time Periods
18th century
Qing dynasty (China, 1644-1912)
19th century
17th century
Ming dynasty (China, 1368-1644)
20th century
United States
Missouri (U.S.)
Jesuits (Society of Jesus)
Académie Royale des Sciences (France)
Astronomical Bureau (China)

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