This is a collection of some of the best Chinese tales and anecdotes from the third to the sixth century. Most of these stories deal with the supernatural, some are folk tales, yet others are pen-pictures of historical figures. These stories give us exciting and intimate glimpses of four troubled centuries in Chinese history. Frequent civil wars made the lot of the Chinese people a bitter one. Peasants were often goaded to revolt, intellectuals to turn hermit or to seek consolation in wine or religion and the spread of Buddhism heightened the interest in the world of spirits. These tales have a unique place in Chinese literature and their influence upon the subsequent development of Chinese fiction was immense. Their form was copied right down to the nineteenth century, and some of them were adapted by later dramatists, poets or prose-writers. The stories are plentifully illustrated with reproductions of works of art which reflect the spirit and social background of their age.