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Despite the importance of books and the written word in Chinese society, the history of the book in China is a topic that has been little explored. This pioneering volume of essays, written by historians, art historians, and literary scholars, introduces the major issues in the social and cultural history of the book in late imperial China. Informed by many insights from the rich literature on the history of the Western book, these essays investigate the relationship between the manuscript and print culture; the emergence of urban and rural publishing centers; the expanding audience for books; the development of niche markets and specialized publishing of fiction, drama, non-Han texts, and genealogies; and more.