Lao Tzu was the father of Taoism. In his Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu outlined the basic concept of Tao. Chuang Tzu and Lieh Tzu were Lao Tzu's most important followers who expounded and expanded the basic principles set forth by Lao Tzu. Together, the sayings of these three sages, which make up this volume, are the foundations for the philosophy of Tao.
The translations of the works of these ancient Chinese sages by Lionel and Herbert Giles are very highly regarded and considered by many to be the definitive English translations. Lionel's translation of The Sayings of Lao Tzu (1905), taken from the Tao Te Ching and logically re-ordered, is remarkable for its clarity of expression, particularly given the complexity of the subject. Herbert's translation of The Sayings of Chuang Tzu, presented here, with an introduction by Lionel, was originally published as Musings of a Chinese Mystic (1906). Lionel's translation of The Sayings of Lieh Tzu was originally published as The Book of Lieh Tzu, Teachings in Taoism (1912).
Individually the works of these Chinese sages are classics. Together, they are a master resource of the history of Tao.