Collection of Stories from the Garden of Immortals

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The 3-volumed Collection of Stories from the Garden of Immortals ( 《仙苑編珠》 Xianyuan Bianzhu ) by Wang Songnian, a Daoist living on Mt. Tiantai, was a Daoist collection of biographies of immortals. According to the study of the author's preface by the contemporary scholar, Chen Guofu, the author of the book lived during the five Dynasties or the Song. Since the Southern Song, many catalogues have recorded this book. Record of Arts and Literature in History and Brief Record of Arts and Literature in Common Records both say the book has one volume, but Junzhai Records of Books says the book has two volumes. The book, based on Biographies of the Immortals, Biographies of Various Immortals, Declarations of the Perfected ( 《真誥》 Zhenggao ), Biographies of Louguan Daoists, Biographies of the Ones with Miracles ( 《靈驗記》 Ligyan Zhuan ), Biographies of the Eight Perfected Ones, Biographies of the Twelve Perfected Sovereigns and Biographies of Learned Daoists, records many immortals. Besides, it records 132 Daoists from the Tang and the Liang down to the author's time. The book, similar to Mengqiu in style, records over 300 immortals in 4-word rhymed sentences with notes. Such books as Biographies of Louguan Daoists are now missing. Therefore, this book, collected in the Subsection of Biographies, Pervasive Divinity Section of the Daoist Canon of the Zhengtong Era, containing such historic materials, is very valuable for the study of the system of Daoist Immortals.