The 2017 Olympia Book Fair is now closed.

We are excited to announce that in 2018 the Fair is relocating
to Battersea Evolution, 24-26 May 2018.
Carleton House
92 Malone Road
Belfast
BT9 5HP
Contact Peter Rowan
Telephone 02890 666448
Specialists Ireland, Irish History & Culture, Manuscripts, Maps, Literature, Economics, Sciences, History of Ideas, Travel, Rare Books in all fields (15th to 20th Centuries)
VIEW DEALER INFORMATION
Carleton House
92 Malone Road
Belfast
BT9 5HP
Contact Peter Rowan
Telephone 02890 666448
Specialists Ireland, Irish History & Culture, Manuscripts, Maps, Literature, Economics, Sciences, History of Ideas, Travel, Rare Books in all fields (15th to 20th Centuries)
P & B Rowan
Stand F02

MOST ANCIENT TEXT OF CHINESE CIVILIZATION - "ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOKS IN THE WORLD'S LITERATURE"

I-CHING] McCLATCHIE, Thomas (translator)

A Translation of the Confucian [Yih King (in Chinese characters)], or the "Classic of Change" with Notes and Appendix by the Rev. Canon McClatchie ..., Shanghai / London: American Presbyterian Mission Press / Trúbner & Co 1876

first English translation tall 8vo. xiii, [1 (blank)], 455, [1 (errata)]pp., parallel Chinese and English texts printed on facing pages, diagrams, contemporary half citron morocco, spine panelled by gilt highlighted raised bands, direct lettered in gilt, purple cloth sides, neatly rebacked with the original spine (with some old cracks) relaid and with the original endpapers reused, corners and head of spine neatly refurbished, cloth on sides a bit faded and marked. A very good and internally nice fresh copy. Rare.

Note
OCLC (WorldCat) locates only 8 copies - Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Pitts Theology, Cambridge, Univ. London (S.O.A.S.), Univ. Liverpool and Sistema (Switzerland) Not in Löwendahl Sino-Western Relations or its Supplement.
First printing in the original Chinese and the first edition in English of the I Ching, the ancient Chinese book of divination, sometimes attributed to Confucious but in fact very much earlier. The I Ching is considered the most ancient text of Chinese civilization.
"Zhouyi is a manual of oracles compiled in an archaic script during the Chinese Bronze Age (c.2500BC - c.300BC). As the language developed and the script was reformed, the original meaning of the oracles gave way to a new interpretation resulting in a book of wisdom. By the second century AD eight explanatory tractates, confusingly known as the 'Ten Wings', had been added to them. Thus, Zhouyi and the Ten Wings together came to be known as Yijing (or I Ching) - The Book of Changes" [Richard Rutt].
"The Book of Changes - I Ching in Chinese - is unquestionably one of the most important books in the world's literature. Its origin goes back to mythical antiquity, and it has occupied the attention of the most eminent scholars of China down to the present day. Nearly all that is greatest and most significant in the three thousand years of Chinese cultural history has either taken its inspiration from this book, or has exerted an influence on the interpretation of its text. Therefore it may safely be said that the seasoned wisdom of thousands of years has gone into the making of the I Ching. Small wonder then that both of the two branches of Chinese philosophy, Confucianism and Taoism, have their common roots here. The book sheds new light on many a secret hidden in the often puzzling modes of thought of that mysterious sage, Lao-tse, and of his pupils, as well as on many ideas that appear in the Confucian tradition as axioms, accepted without further examination.
Indeed, not only the philosophy of China but its science and statecraft as well have never ceased to draw from the spring of wisdom in the I Ching, and it is not surprising that this alone, among all the Confucian classics, escaped the great burning of the books under Ch'in Shih Huang Ti. Even the common-places of everyday life in China are saturated with its influence. In going through the streets of a Chinese city [in the 1920s], one will find, here and there at a street corner, a fortune teller sitting behind a neatly covered table, brush and tablet at hand, ready to draw from the ancient book of wisdom pertinent counsel and information on life's minor perplexities. Not only that, but the very signboards adorning the houses - perpendicular wooden panels done in gold on black lacquer - are covered with inscriptions whose flowery language again and again recalls thoughts and quotations from the I Ching. ....
The Ten Wings were traditionally attributed to Confucius, possibly based on a misreading of the Records of the Grand Historian. Although it rested on historically shaky grounds, the association of the I Ching with Confucius gave weight to the text and was taken as an article of faith throughout the Han and Tang dynasties. The I Ching was not included in the burning of the Confucian classics, and textual evidence strongly suggests that Confucius did not consider the Zhou yi a 'classic'" [Richard Wilhelm (1873-1930), Introduction to his translation of I Ching into German, translated by Cary F. Barnes].
Thomas McClatchie (Dublin, 1814 - 1885), educated at T.C.D. and then Anglican curate at Midsomer Norton, Somerset, was a joint founder in 1844 of the Church Mission Society work in China and became Canon of Hong Kong and later Shanghai Cathedral. He was secretary of C.M.S. Missions in China at the time of writing this book. He retired from China in 1882 and died in England.
McClatchie's thinking "reflected his admiration for the writings of two Englishmen: the Cambridge Platonist, Ralph Cudworth (1617-88), whose philosophical idealism so readily harmonized wit the Great Treatise; and Jabob Bryant (1715-1804), whose writings about comparative mythology encouraged the then popular theory that all human culture had roots in the Middle East. These themes are to the fore in McClatchie's translation of the Yijing published at Shangai in 1876. It might have been gratefully received, had he not attracted scorn and loathing by his detection of phallic elements in the yin/yang theory, which he discussed in relation to the first two hexagrams. His brief mention of the sexual organs was decently veiled in Latin, but he so seriously upset the Presbyterian [missionary and sinologist] Legge that the latter cried Proh Pudor! and claimed McClatchie's work was of no use. ... As a result McClatchie's work has been misrepresented and undervalued. William Edward Soothill (1861-1935), Professor of Chinese at Oxford, was one of the few who mentioned McClatchie without disdain. McClatchie however never flinched from controversy. His Shanghai obituarist declared 'His temperament disguised his success'. .. In September 1875, Ernest Eitel, the distinguished Lutheran editor of China Review .. rather reluctantly printed McClatchie' riposte to [the Scottish missionary John] Chalmer's review of [McClatchie's Confucian Cosmogony (1874)]. In January 1876, with even greater reluctance, Eitel published another essay by McClatchie, entitled 'Phallic Worship', with an editorial note stating that the article was printed solely in order that someone might refute it. No one did. McClatchie's Book of Changes appeared in Shanghai a few months later" [Rudd]. While both archaeological evidence and later scholarship support McClatchie's surmises his "version was soon overshadowed by Legge's translation, published in London six years later" [Rutt].
Vide: Richard Rutt (editor and translator) Book of Changes (2002)

Edition
first edition
£14,000