These studies develop a more open way of reading China's traditional narrative literature, in which publishing culture, religious culture, historical circumstance and social institutions all play a part. The concept of vernacular culture is discussed in broad terms and explored through particular examples. This volume, which marks Glen Dudbridge's retirement as Shaw Professor of Chinese at Oxford University, brings together fourteen of his research papers published over more than thirty years. They form three themed groups: books and publishing; medieval narrative and religious culture; vernacular culture. Each group presents a mixture of discursive pieces with more technical and empirical research, and most of the papers also have links that reach across the division into groups.