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This project compares different editions of the texts constituting the 閱微草堂筆記, a collection of anecdotes by 紀昀 (紀曉嵐, 1724-1805).
紀昀 was a highly-placed 進士 scholar who oversaw the 四庫全書 project on behalf of Emperor Qianlong. In his leisure time, he compiled anecdotes and gossip from colleagues and his own diaries, independently publishing a series of compilations under various titles, which were finally compiled into the 閱微草堂筆記 in 1805.
Because of 紀昀's simultaneous roles as a high-ranking government official and popular author, and because of the 閱微草堂筆記's scattered history as serial compendia which were compiled into the final work only later, comparing early editions of the constituent parts of the 閱微草堂筆記 is of interest for understanding High Qing official and unofficial publishing practices, and the relationship between 紀昀's élite milieu and the printing industry.