Read more about Judge Dee at: Wikipedia
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Judge Dee (also, Judge Di) is a semi-fictional character based on the historical figure Di Renjie, county magistrate and statesman of the Tang court. The character appeared in the 18th-century Chinese detective and gong'an crime novel Di Gong An. After Robert van Gulik came across it in an antiquarian book store in Tokyo, he translated the novel into English and then used the style and characters to write his own original Judge Dee historical mystery stories.
The series is set in Tang Dynasty China and deals with criminal cases solved by the upright and shrewd Judge Dee, who as county magistrate in the Chinese imperial legal system was both the investigating magistrate and judge.
The Judge Dee character is based on the historical figure Di Renjie (c. 630–c. 700), magistrate and statesman of the Tang court. During the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) in China, a "folk novel" was written set in former times, but filled with anachronisms.
Van Gulik found in the 18th-century Di Gong An (Chinese:ç‹„å…¬æ¡ˆ Pinyin: dÃ gÅng Ã n, lit. "Cases of Judge Dee") an original tale dealing with three cases simultaneously, and, which was unusual among Chinese mystery tales, a plot that for the most part lacked an overbearing supernatural element which could alienate Western readers. He translated it into English and had it published in 1949 under the title Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee.
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