New Year’s Eve in Lan-Fang. A Judge Dee Story.
Beirut: Privately published for Van Gulik [Imprimerie Catholique], 1958.
Manuscript dedication: ‘Met al onze beste wenschen voor 1959 ! Robert en Frances’. Promotional gift from the writer on the occasion of New Year’s Eve 1958.
Scarce first printing, first edition of this book, privately distributed among friends by the author. Published in an edition of 200 copies, and as such the scarcest of the Judge Dee novels.
Orginal publisher’s sewn cream paperback, brown lettering frontcover.
12mo: frontispiece, dark-red character title-page, 32pp., vignette, colophon.
The Judge Dee stories are loosely based on the historical figure Di Renjie, a Tang court magistrate and statesman. The character originally occurred in an 18th-century Chinese story (Dee Goong An), which Van Gulik translated. Afterwards he appropriated the character for his own historical mysteries. Lan-fang is a fictional district at the western frontier of Tang China.
Robert Hans van Gulik (1910-1967) was a Dutch orientalist, diplomat, musician, and writer. As author he is best known for the Judge Dee historical mysteries.
A fine copy.