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Quan Zuwang
Updated:2017-12-14 15:27:00

Quan Zuwang (1705-1755) was born in Yinzhou County (currently a district of Ningbo in Zhejiang Province). Named Bu in childhood, Quan addressed himself as Jieqi Magistrate, courtesy name Shaoyi and alias Xieshan, and he is usually called as Mr. Xieshan by scholars. Known for his erudition, he is a famous bibliophile, historian, philologist, and also an important figure of the Eastern Zhejiang School in the Qing Dynasty.
Being a gongsheng in the 7th year of Yongzheng Period (1729), Quan Zuwang passed the provincial examination three years later. In the first year of Qianlong Period (1736), he was granted the title of erudite literatus; also in this year he passed the imperial examination and became a jinshi (a successful candidate in the highest imperial examinations), then he was selected as one of the officials in Hanlin Academy. However, as Quan was not willing to play up to the powerful, he encountered much trouble in his political career. Therefore, he resigned just one year later, not striving for an official career any longer. Since then, he devoted himself to research and writing about history, and later began to lecture in various places, including Jishan Academy in Zhejiang.  He made complete annotations to the 40 volumes of Commentary on the Waterways and spent most of his life collecting and organizing  an ancient classics. He was a representative phonologist of that time.
In academic studies, he paid high esteem to Huang Zongxi, and claimed to be Guangzhou disciple. He was also an adherent of the practical philosophy of Wan Sitong. He focused on the study of the writings in the Southern Song and late Ming periods, collecting historical books of his own hometown, especially those classic writings and old rubbings which were compiled into Tianyige Beimu (Monument List of Tianyige). In fact, Quan spent most of his time on collecting and compiling important books and produced a lot of excellent works, including 38 volumes of Collected Works of Magistrate Jieji, 50 volumes of A Miscellaneous Collection, 10 volumes of A collection of Poems, 100 volumes of Cases of Pedagogy in the Song and Yuan Dynasties,  Chronology of General History, Classics Q&A, Dialects. Annotations to Commentary on the Waterways, Annotations to Kunxuejiwen (Kunxuejiwen: a book by Wang Yinglin on Issues about Academic studies), Poems by a Senior of Ningbo, thus contributing greatly to the classic Chinese cultural treasure-house. 
Quan Zuwang died at the age of 51 and was buried near his father. His tomb was in the shape of horizontal rectangle with “Tomb of Xieshan, Quan Taishi” inscribed in its stone.
With his pursuit of historical truths and superb writing skills, Quan Zuwang made remarkable achievement in historiography. He is taken as the most creative historiographic writer after Sima Qian. Due to his outstanding writing talents and his uprightness that was never changed by the hardships he experienced in his early political career, Quan became a sage admired by generations of people in the east Zhejiang.


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