Reading into the Past

Reading into the Past is a selection of English-language materials relevant to the China Story originally published in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In reprinting these essays we intend to not only preserve them and make them more easily accessible, but also to augment the modern day China Story by providing perspectives from the past on critical issues that continue to be debated. More than mere curios, Reading into the Past illuminates and contextualises the present.

Hsu Shih-ying (Xu Shiying) 許世英

This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925. His Excellency Hsu Shih-ying was born at Chiu-pu Hsien, Anhwei Province, in 1872. At the age of twenty-five, he was made a Pa Kung, or Senior Licentiate; and then began his official career as a member of the Law Compilation Bureau, which was … more

Huang Yuan-pei (Huang Yanpei) 黃炎培

This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925. Mr. Huang Yen-pei, a native of Chuensha, Kiangsu Province, was born in 1877. Having successfully passed several literary examinations during the Ching Dynasty, he obtained the degree of Chu-jen. For his Western knowledge, he attended the Middle School of the Nanyang University. Mr. … more

Tsai Yuan-pei (Cai Yuanpei) 蔡元培

This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925. Dr. Tsai Yuen-pei, one of the formemost educational leaders in China, was born in Chekiang province, in 1866. His brilliant literary career was signalized when he passed the highest Imperial Examinations, at the age of twenty-four, with the degree of Han-lin. His scholarship … more

Liang Chi-chao (Liang Qichao) 梁啟超

This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925. His Excellency Liang Chi-chao, a native of Kwangtung Province, was born in 1873. He is considered a brilliant scholar, and is known as the most prominent follower of Kang Yu-wei, the famous scholar and reformer. He started the first Chinese daily newspaper in … more

Wang Yi-tang 王揖唐

This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925. His Excellency Wang Yi-tang was born at Hofei Hsien, Anhwi Province, in 1877. He became a Metropolitan graduate during the Ching régime. In 1907 and 1908, he served as Military Councillor to His Excellency Hsu Shih-chang, who was then Viceroy of Manchuria: and … more

Feng Yu-hsiang (Feng Yuxiang) 馮玉祥

This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925. Marshall Feng Yu-hsiang was born at Chao Hsien, Anhui Province, in 1880. In 1896, he joined the Piyang Military Academy. Before graduation, in 1898, he left that college and enrolled as a private in the Wu Wei Yu Chun. Subsequently, he was appointed … more

Wu Pei-fu (Wu Peifu) 吳佩孚

This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925. Marshal Wu Pei-fu was born in the Pang-lai district of Shantung Province in 1873: and comes from very humble parentage. At the age of twenty-one, he received a degree equivalent to that of Bachelor of Arts, through competitive literary examination. Finding Chinese literature … more

Chang Tso-lin (Zhang Zuolin) 張作霖

This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925.Marshal Chang Tso-lin was born in Fengtien Province, in 1876. He received no education in his youth, but his bravery and initiative distinguished him and singled him out to be a powerful leader. During the Russo-Japanese War, Marshal Chang fought on the side of … more

C.T. Wang (Wang Zhengting) 王正廷

This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925. His Excellency Dr. C.T. Wang was born in Ningpo, Chekiang Province, in 1882. After having acquired the rudiments of an education, in his native province, he entered the Peiyang University, Tientsin, which was then considered the most up-to-date institution of higher learning in … more

Huang Fu 黃郛

This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925.   His Excellency Huang Fu was born at Hanchow, Chekiang, in 1993. He received his military education at the Chekiang Military School; then, at the Chun Wu Academy, in Japan; and, finally, at the Military Survey Academy, at Tokyo, from whence he was … more