The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci

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Penguin Books, 1985 - Biography & Autobiography - 350 pages
29 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.

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Review: The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci

User Review  - Goodreads

Matteo Ricci was a Jesuit who traveled from Italy to China in the 1500s. He came on a mission to spread the gospel. As he was highly educated in his own western culture of the time he used treasures ... Read full review

Review: The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci

User Review  - Goodreads

This is a biography of the Jesuit missionary who tried in the early 17th century to convert the Ming emperor to Christianity and thereby win over millions of souls. Matteo Ricci had won only limited ... Read full review



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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.

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