This book is a comprehensive study of Liu Tsang-yuan (773-819), a major literary and intellectual figure in Chinese history. The major aspects of Liu's life and work are explored: the social and cultural background of his family, his relationship with the ku-wen prose reforms and new canonical scholarship in the mid-T'ang, his social and political criticism, his views on Confucian doctrine, and his sentiments and reflections regarding the private realm of human life. Its scope goes beyond the 'life and thought' of this principal intellectual figure in its special emphasis on the connections between Liu's thought and mid-T'ang intellectual change, modifying the conventional view that the mid-T'ang Confucian revival led by Han Yu (768-824) and Liu Tsung-yuan was a precursor of Sung Neo-Confucianism. Chen suggests that the mid-T'ang Confucian movement was essentially a revival of an old form of Confucianism and that Liu's was a powerful voice expressing this sentiment. This in-depth study also encompasses a general interpretation of the nature of the T'ang-Sung intellectual transition. Anyone familiar with the intriguing yet elusive Liu Tsang-yuan will find this book fascinating.