Flowing Refinement: Biography of the Zhang Family in Hefei by Wang Dao

Flowing Refinement: Biography of the Zhang Family in Hefei

byWang Dao

Kobo ebook | April 1, 2014

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This book records the stories of the Zhang family, including Zhang Shusheng, an eminent official during the late Qing dynasty, Zhang Jiyou, the principal of Leyi Girls’ School, and the siblings of Zhang family, founders of family magazine Water. The family moved from the vital center, Feishui, to the Jiuru Alley with the ancient well in the areas south of the Yangtze River... The essence of the culture in Zhang family is refinement, which is like water benefiting everything by non-stop flowing over centuries.

Drawing on a variety of available sources, interviews over years and research in different locations, the author, Wang Dao, starts the book, Flowing Refinement: Biography of the Zhang Family in Hefei, with the oral account of the family, outlines turbulent private lives, describes the great dramas of their persistence, conflicts and nature. Replete with over 300 photographs, the author presents a fascinating chronicle of the century-old Zhang family in Hefei, and a wonderful narrative of the centennial lineage of refinement and elegance in this prominent family .

The family members with "He" in their given names witnessed the tremendous changes of the era and the turbulent history of Chinese traditional scholars and officials. "Four Talented Ladies in Zhang Family", preceded only by the Soong sisters, was praised as "the last well-bred ladies". Zhang Yuanhe, the eldest sister, was proficient at Kunqu opera, and married Gu Chuanjie, a renowned Kunqu opera artist. Zhang Yunhe, the second eldest, showed outstanding literary talents, and got married to Zhou Youguang, the linguist. Zhang Zhaohe, the third sister, her marriage to Shen Congwen had been a much-told story, while she became a famous editor later. Zhang Chonghe, the youngest, a rigorous practitioner of classical arts, including writing poetry, painting, calligraphy and music. She was married to German-American sinologist Hans Fränkel.

Among six brothers, Zhang Zonghe, the eldest, graduating from the History Department of Tsinghua University, taught at the National Southwestern Associated University, as well as a famous amateur Kunqu opera performer. Zhang Yinhe, the second eldest, was a poet to keep a low profile, working for Shun Bao in his earlier years. Zhang Dinghe, the third eldest, was a composer in China National Opera & Dance Theater. Zhang Yuhe, the fourth eldest, was the only researcher in the natural sciences, as a research fellow in the Nanjing Botanical Garden Memorial Sun Yat-Sen. Zhang Huanhe, the fifth eldest, continued their father’s career, being the principal of Leyi Girls’ School and engaging in educational work through the years. Zhang Ninghe, the youngest, became the first conductor in China National Symphony Orchestra at 26, later joining in the National Orchestra of Belgium.

Mr. Zhang Huanhuo, as a centenarian, offered great help in examining and approving the manuscripts, and provided most of the pictures. I hereby express my gratitude to him.

Title:Flowing Refinement: Biography of the Zhang Family in HefeiFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:April 1, 2014Publisher:Zhejiang University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:730812732X

ISBN - 13:9787308127325

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