• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Work with all your cloud files (Drive, Dropbox, and Slack and Gmail attachments) and documents (Google Docs, Sheets, and Notion) in one place. Try Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) for free. Now available on the web, Mac, Windows, and as a Chrome extension!


Van Gulik, Robert

Page history last edited by Jon 9 years, 4 months ago

Robert Hans Van Gulick (1910-1967) was a Dutch diplomat and scholar who created one of the first historical detectives, Judge Dee. Van Gulick was born in Zutphen and attended university in Leiden and Utrecht, where he received a PhD in 1935. He joined the Dutch foreign service and was captured and interned in Japan during WWII, until his release in a diplomatic exchange. In 1943 he married Frances Shui. He was posted to the US, Lebanon and Malaya and ultimately became Dutch Ambassador to Japan and Korea. He wrote many non-fiction works on Chinese culture and literature.


Black and white photographs show a tall Dutchman, with large hands and a trim moustache staring unsmilingly into the camera. In one, he is in Chinese robes and towers over the diminutive Chinese academics he poses with. His colleagues from the Foreign Service remember him as hardly every attending the formal engagements and meetings that they were obliged to go to. Instead, Van Gulik spent his time roaming the cities where he was posted, meeting local people from every sphere, learning the street language and customs, familiarising himself with East from the inside.


In 1940 Van Gulick translated a Chinese copy of Dee Goong An - Criminal Cases Solved by Judge Dee. In traditional Chinese style, the book shows the investigation of local crimes, including murder, by a high-ranking Confucian magistrate; three cases run through the book, occasionally intertwining. He followed the dame pattern in writing his own stories about Judge Dee, ultimately writing another 16 Judge Dee books.




Criminal Cases Solved by Judge Dee aka Dee Goong An (1949) {free translation}

The Chinese Bell Murders (1951)

The Chinese Maze Murders (1951)

The Chinese Lake Murders (1953)

The Chinese Nail Murders (1957)

The Chinese Gold Murders (1959)

The Haunted Monastery (1961)

The Red Pavilion (1961)

The Lacquer Screen (1962)

The Emperor's Pearl (1963)

The Willow Pattern (1965)

The Monkey and the Tiger (1965)

Murder in Canton (1966)

The Phantom of the Temple (1966)

Judge Dee at Work (1967)

Necklace and Calabash (1967)

Poets and Murder (1968)


Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.