A New Introduction to Classical Chinese introduces the reader to the Classical Chinese of the ancient world through the presentation of text passages with grammatical commentary.
Beginning with Mencius, the work which purports to contain the teachings of the first great disciple of Confucius, and passages from other writers of the fourth and third centuries BC, the author progresses to selections from the great Han Dynasty historian Ssu-ma Ch'ien, who became a model for future generations of Chinese writers. This book has become a standard work for use in universities as well as for private study.
The introductory material employs the Wade-Giles system of romanization, which has been used for the great majority of academic works, but the bulk of the book also offers the reader the alternative of employing the now standard Pinyin romanization. This is a redesigned re-issue of A New Introduction to Classical Chinese which in 1985 replaced the author's An Introduction to Classical Chinese first published in 1968.
The notes were entirely revised and the amount of text nearly doubled. The book goes beyond the fourth century to include material from the great Han Dynasty historian Ssu-ma Ch'ien, who perfected a narrative style that became a model for future generations of Chinese writers.