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Straits Settlements, 1911
Paper, 16.3 x 10.4 cm
2012-00806, Gift of the Hall of Phoenix and Peony, Singapore
Loosely translated as "stories from ancient times", the tales serialised in this publication were popular reading at the turn of the 20th century through the 1950s. The stories came from Chinese folklore as well as legends and historical epics such as Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Journey to the West, and Water Margin.
The author-translator of this publication, Chan Kim Boon (b. 1851), was one of the more prolific and well-known authors of chrita dulu kala. He wrote under the pseudonym Batu Gantong, a cryptic reference to a cemetery in Penang. Chan was educated in an English-medium school but still well-versed in Chinese literary traditions – a consequence of Chinese lessons at home.