Shanghai: T'Usewei Printing Press, 1914 - 1926. Two parts in eight volumes (of thirteen published through 1938 ?). Open-sewn cloth backed printed boards. Heavily illustrated with hundreds of plates and facsimiles printed via chromolithography. Extremities of boards worn, a few corners bruised, spine labels largely chipped away, volume 5 shaken, with several gatherings started, endsheets a bit dusty, a bit musty, some marginal tanning; generally a good set, the plates fresh and bright. Item #WRCLIT72142
First edition in English of this mammoth undertaking, translated from the French, with historical and explanatory notes, by M. Kennelly. The First Part (comprised of the first five volume) is devoted to Superstitious Practices; the remaining three volumes, denoted the Second Part, are devoted to the Chinese Pantheon of religious figures. Given the span of years over which the work was published, many of the extant sets are fragmentary or want later volumes. Doré served as a Jesuit missionary for over twenty years in the Kiangsu and Nganhwei provinces. His original French text began publication in 1911 as elements in the VARIÉTÉS SINOLOGIQUES, and the preface to the first volume of this English text projected completion of the French work, in eight volumes, by 1915.