Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wanli Emperor, 1587

Third Edition

By Daniel K. Gardner, Mark C. Carnes

Approx. 88 pp., 8.5 x 11, 1 table, appends

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-7080-5
    Published: July 2022
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-7230-4
    Published: July 2022
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-6398-0
    Published: July 2022

Reacting to the Past

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Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wanli Emperor, 1587 is set in the Hanlin Academy in Ming dynasty China. Most students are members of the Grand Secretariat of the Hanlin Academy, the body of top-ranking graduates of the civil service examination who serve as advisers to the Wanli emperor. Some Grand Secretaries are Confucian "purists," who hold that tradition obliges the emperor to name his first-born son as successor; others, in support of the most senior of the Grand Secretaries, maintain that it is within the emperor's right to choose his successor; and still others, as they decide this matter among many issues confronting the empire, continue to scrutinize the teachings of Confucianism for guidance. The game unfolds amid the secrecy and intrigue within the walls of the Forbidden City as scholars struggle to apply Confucian precepts to a dynasty in peril.

About the Authors

Daniel K. Gardner is Dwight W. Morrow Professor Emeritus of History and the Environment at Smith College.
For more information about Daniel K. Gardner, visit the Author Page.

Mark C. Carnes is professor of history at Barnard College.
For more information about Mark C. Carnes, visit the Author Page.