Wild Things, Pristine Places, and the Natural Fringes of Qing Rule
Stanford University Press 2017
Jonathan Schlesinger's new book makes a compelling case for the significance of Manchu and Mongolian sources and archival sources in particular in telling the story of the Qing empire and the invention of nature in its borderlands. A World Trimmed with Fur: Wild Things, Pristine Places, and the Natural Fringes of Qing Rule (Stanford University Press, 2017) traces the history of Qing nature and its environments and institutions by focusing on three case studies from the archival record: the destruction of Manchurian pearl mussels, the rush for wild mushrooms in Mongolia, and the collapse of fur-bearing animal populations in the borderlands with Russia. This is a fascinating story for readers interested in environmental history and the Qing empire alike.