Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, widely regarded as one of the greatest works of Chinese literature. Written 600 years ago, it is an historical novel that tells the story of a tumultuous period in Chinese history, the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. Partly historical and partly legend, it recounts the fighting and scheming of the feudal lords and the three states which came to power as the Han Dynasty collapsed. The influence of Romance of the Three Kingdoms in East Asia has been likened to that of Homer in the West, and this warfare epic remains popular in China today.


Frances Wood
Former Lead Curator of Chinese Collections at the British Library

Craig Clunas
Professor of the History of Art at the University of Oxford

Margaret Hillenbrand
University Lecturer in Modern Chinese Literature at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Wadham College

Producer: Victoria Brignell.

Release date:

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 27 Jun 2013 21:30

Related topics


Frances Wood - Wikipedia


Craig Clunas at the University of Oxford


Margaret Hillenbrand at the University of Oxford


Romance of the Three Kingdoms - Wikipedia





Kimberly Besio and Constantine Tung, Three Kingdoms and Chinese Culture (SUNY Press, 2007)


Cyril Cannon, Public Success, Private Sorrow: The Life and Times of Charles Henry Brewitt-Taylor (1857-1938), China Customs Commissioner and Pioneer Translator (Hong Kong University Press, 2009)


Luo Guanzhong (trans. Moss Roberts), Three Kingdoms: A Historical Novel (various publishers)


Valerie Hansen, The Open Empire: A History of China to 1600 (Norton, 2000)


Robert E. Hegel, Reading Illustrated Fiction in Late Imperial China (Stanford University Press, 1998)


Lai Sing Lam, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Mao's Global Order of Tripolarity (Oxford University Press, 2011)


Andrew H. Plaks, The Four Masterworks of the Ming Novel (Princeton University Press, 1992)


David L. Rolston (ed.), How to Read the Chinese Novel (Princeton University Press, 1990)



Role Contributor
PresenterMelvyn Bragg
Interviewed GuestFrances Wood
Interviewed GuestCraig Clunas
Interviewed GuestMargaret Hillenbrand
ProducerVictoria Brignell
ProducerThomas Morris

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