An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Bixuelu 碧血錄

Feb 20, 2021 © Ulrich Theobald

Bixuelu 碧血錄 "Emerald pearls of blood" is a biji-style book written during the late Ming period 明 (1368-1644) by Huang Yu 黃煜, of whom no further information is available. The book of 2 juan of length gives evidence of the quarrels at the Ming court in 1625 between the eunuchs and the eunuch clique (yandang 閹黨) at the one hand and their opponents, the Donglin Faction (Donglindang 東林黨) of court officials at the other. The main protagonist of the former was the "eunuch dictator" Wei Zhongxian 魏忠賢 (1568–1627), that of the officials Yang Lian 楊漣 (1572-1625).

The book starts with a list of 21 martyrs (si zhong zhe 死忠者) of the Donglin Faction. It then presents lists of the main writings of the "six gentlemen" (liu junzi 六君子) Yang Dahong 楊大洪, Wei Kuoyuan 魏廓園, Gu Chenke 顧塵客, Miao Xixi 繆西谿 (1562-1626), Gao Jingyi 高景逸 (i.e. Gao Panlong 高攀龙, 1562-1626), and Li Zhongda 李仲達. There is an appendix of four chapters, consisting of short writings of a person called Yan Ke 燕客 "Banket Host" who might be identical to Huang Yu. The book was published by Zhao Huaiyu 趙懷玉 (1747-1823) and Lu Wenchao 盧文弨 (1717-1795), whose family library had owned a manuscript copy of the book. The text is an authentic report of the sufferings of loyal and honest state officials under the ruthless and bloody tyranny of Wei Zhongxian.

The book can be found in the series Biji xiaoshuo daguan 筆記小說大觀 and Zhibuzuzhai congshu 知不足齋叢書.

Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1994). Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Vol. Wenxue 文學卷 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 731.