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Secret History of the Mongols

Secret History of the Mongols [Kindle Edition]

Arthur Waley
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

In this unforgettable book, Arthur Waley brings together a number of his articles, poems and translations. Included in this collection are pieces on the eighth-century Chinese poet Ts'en Shên and the great Chinese prose writer, Han Yü, as well as some of Waley's original poems and stories.But the most compelling is The Secret History of the Mongols, consisting of long extracts from a thirteenth-century Chinese saga. Written in vivid, elegant prose, it recounts fantastic tales of epic battles; of betrayal and love; of tyrants and prisoners. Suffused with symbolism and folklore, it is a masterpiece of storytelling, which will appeal to the scholar and the ordinary reader alike.

About the Author

Arthur Waley was a distinguished authority on Chinese and Japanese language and literature. He translated many poems and novels from these languages. He was honoured many times for his work by the Chinese and received the Queen's medal for poetry in 1953. His work includes Chinese Poems, Japanese Poetry, The Tale of Genji and Monkey, the translation of a sixteenth-century Chinese novel, which was turned into a major BBC television series.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 536 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0755116046
  • Publisher: House of Stratus (22 Jun 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #158,144 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Secret History of the Mongols 9 Dec 2010
By C.M.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I think that I chose the wrong book. I thought it would be the complete book named The Secret History of the Mongols because all books that I have read about the Mongols refer back to information written in this book.Hence it was my intention to buy that book.
In actual fact this book was a collection of papers/articles or essays and part of the book was The Secret History of the Mongols, translated by the author. I suspect not every word was translated and perhaps it was an excerpt of the book I intended to buy.
Nevertheless it was an interesting enough book and I do not regret buying it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Secret History of the Mongols. 14 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a good complement to the other books about the Mongols I read before. The poetry section was not so much to my liking.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for the adventurers 1 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For me the main attraction of the Mongol Empire was Genghis Khan and this translation gives you very little compared to some others, lots on poetry and culture but very little on the main attraction which was of course Genghis.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good 18 Mar 2013
By lucy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
good condition, looking forward to reading it, at a later date as reading one of authors other books at the moment.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Probably the Weakest Version 4 Jan 2010
By Ronin - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Actually, to be fair, the weakest version is the one Waley praises by Cleaves in his prologue; so, 2nd weakest. This book is a compilation of the poems, articles, and translations of Arthur Waley, a Chinese & Japanese language scholar who also translated The Tale of Genji. Before you buy this book I suggest you Search Inside and check out the table of contents, because Waley's The Secret History (TSH) only involves pages 231-329. Because of this I feel the title of the book "The Secret History of the Mongols: A Saga of Epic Battles, Betrayal, Love, Tyrants, and Prisoners in Ancient China" is poorly chosen, hence my 3-stars. The title implies that TSH is the focus, when in fact the focus is on the works of Mr. Waley, of which TSH was but one.

I personally have little interest in his other work, so my review focuses on the 98-pages (out of 355) dealing with TSH, and I do apologize if you were looking for information on the rest. If you have a basic interest in reading TSH, the version by Paul Kahn is both affordable and more than adequate, and is written in the original poetic. If you are looking for a more in depth study of this subject, then without a doubt I would recommend the 2-vol set by Igor de Rachewiltz as the definitive study.

Aside from all the extraneous works in this version, there is another issue potential buyers should be aware of: it is not the complete TSH, it is only excerpts. It is also not in the "original" form, which was prose, but rather a translated version that only recounts the story-tellers' tales. For some, especially people who just want the gist of the story, Waley's translation will likely be more readable and user-friendly, which was his intention when he wrote it, but for the purist it simply won't do. With regards to this aspect, Waley does a good job as he referenced both the Chinese and Mongolian versions for his translation.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arthur Wayley is brilliant. 19 Mar 2013
By writer/reader - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love Wayley's writing. No matter what he's discussing he shines unique and sudden insights on anything he touches. This book wanders from subject to subject like a stroll in a summer garden. This is a delightful book that rates repeated reading.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful 16 Mar 2012
By Richard H. Hayes - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great historical accounting of the mongol hordes, their battle plans and their methods of warfare. Not for the weak hearted
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insite into Genghis Khan and family 28 Oct 2013
By James Anthony - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As I expected, it was a difficult read considering the complexity of the names, this was made easier as I had read the Conquerer series by Conn Iggulden.
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