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The Outlaws of the Marsh
Chinese Martial Literature

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"The Outlaws of the Marsh" is a classical masterpiece of China, known to every Chinese school child.  It is world famous for its beauty and prose, telling the story of 108 characters - all kind-hearted outlaws - who fight for the people's rights against the corrupted government.  

There are plenty of Internet websites available about this masterpiece, but it has never before been shown on stamps, so I am proud to show here for the first time on the Internet the full series, appeared over a period of 10 years, together with the corresponding souvenir sheets.  The stamps and sheets are all illustrations to the story, and are beautifully painted by contemporary, anonymous Chinese painters.  

Below I have given just a short description to the individual stamps, quoted from Stanley Gibbons Simplified 2001.  The souvenir sheets show a conglomeration of the stories told on stamps.  If you are interested in knowing more, I warmly recommend you to visit the link provided at the bottom of this page, giving more information about The Outlaws of the Marsh.  You will find the full story as well as a full description of all the heroes, their characteristics and weapons.  

China 1987. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Stamp #1. China 1987. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Stamp #2. China 1987. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Souvenir sheet.
China 1987. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Stamp #3. China 1987. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Stamp #4.
China 1989. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Stamp #2. China 1989. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Stamp #3. China 1989. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Stamp #4. China 1989. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Stamp #1.

China 1991. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Souvenir sheet.

China 1991. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Stamp #2.

China 1991. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Stamp #4.
China 1991. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Stamp #3.
China 1991. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Stamp #1.
China 1993. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Stamp #1. China 1993. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Stamp #2. China 1993. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Stamp #3. China 1993. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Stamp #4.
China 1997. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Stamp #1. China 1997. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Stamp #2. China 1997. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Souvenir sheet.
China 1997. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Stamp #3. China 1997. The Outlaws of the Marsh. Stamp #4.

Sources and links:

Many thanks to Didier Maistre (France) and Annick Le Gall (France) for all help and research.  

More Chinese Arts on this site:

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Revised 24-jul-2006. Ann Mette Heindorff
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