List of maps, figures, and tables; Dynasties, Qing dynasty Emperors' reign dates, and weights and measures; Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1. 'Firs and pines a hundred spans round': the natural environment of Lingnan; 2. 'All deeply forested and wild places are not malarious': human settlement and ecological change in Lingnan, 2-1400 CE; 3. 'Agriculture is the foundation': economic recovery and development of Lingnan during the Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644; 4. 'All the people have fled': war and the environment in the mid-seventeenth century crisis, 1644-83; 5. 'Rich households compete to build ships': overseas trade and economic recovery; 6. 'It never used to snow': climate change and agricultural productivity; 7. 'There is only a certain amount of grain produced': granaries and the role of the state in the food supply system; 8. 'Trade in rice is brisk:' market integration and the environment; 9. 'Population increases daily, but the land does not': land clearance in the eighteenth century; 10. 'People said that extinction was not possible': the ecological consequences of land clearance; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.
'This work is a breath of fresh air in terms of the approach that uses the interaction between environment and economy to examine historical change in Lingnan. Well researched, clearly written and strongly argued, it raises new questions and opens the possibility of further research into and comparisons with the history of environment and economy in other parts of imperial China.' The Journal of Peasant Studies