The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci

Front Cover
Penguin Books, 1985 - Biography & Autobiography - 350 pages
4 Reviews
From the renowned historian and author of The Death of Woman Wang, a vivid and gripping account of the 16th-century missionary’s remarkable sojourn to Ming China
In 1577, the Jesuit Priest Matteo Ricci set out from Italy to bring Christian faith and Western thought to Ming dynasty China. To capture the complex emotional and religious drama of Ricci's extraordinary life, Jonathan Spence relates his subject's experiences with several images that Ricci himself created—four images derived from the events in the Bible and others from a book on the art of memory that Ricci wrote in Chinese and circulated among members of the Ming dynasty elite. A rich and compelling narrative about a fascinating life, The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci is also a significant work of global history, juxtaposing the world of Counter-Reformation Europe with that of Ming China.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci

User Review  - James - Goodreads

While historically interesting, it really didn't give me either the depth of the man nor the insights into his methods that I was really looking for. It is a solid biography, though, if that's what you're looking for. Read full review

Review: The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci

User Review  - dead letter office - Goodreads

my memory palaces never have more than two rooms, and they blow away in a light breeze. Read full review



12 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1985)

Jonathan Spence's eleven books on Chinese history include The Gate of Heavenly Peace, Treason by the Book, and The Death of Woman Wang. His awards include a Guggenheim and a MacArthur Fellowship. He teaches at Yale University.

Bibliographic information