Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Sānguó Yǎnyì 三国演义)– Translations & Secondary Sources|Sānguó Yǎnyì三国演义
The Romance of the Three Kingdoms is a historical fiction (based on “real” characters and events) of epic proportions written in the fourteenth century. It narrates events occurring in the second century ce when China was divided into three competing kingdoms. Main characters include Liu Bei, a descendant for the Han nobility, his archenemy Cao Cao, a ruthless but brilliant, poem-writing general, and Zhuge Liang, the master strategist.
Besides several partial translations starting at the early 20th century, there are two full-length translations into English available.
Charles Henry Brewitt-Taylor. (Trans.). (2002). Romance of the Three Kingdoms. 2 vols. Tuttle Publishing. Originally published in 1959. $27.95/29.95. 708/680 pages. ISBN: 9780804834674/9780804834681
The Brewitt-Tayler translation was originally published in 1925 without notes or maps. Reprinted in 1959 with maps/notes and introduction by Roy Andrew Miller. This translation is praised for its literary style that matches the original epic. It might come off as a little “old fashioned” now. It also uses Wade-Giles romanization.
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