Fang Bao (Fang Pao) 1668-1749

One of the founding fathers of the Tongcheng school of prose. An orthodox Confucian scholar-official who was very much respected as a skilled essay writer, he was born in Nanjing and spent much of his life there. He developed the yi fa literary theory, which involved the bringing of both the substance and the form of a piece of writing into harmonious union, and compiled an anthology of guwen writings which for him exemplified this idea. In 1711 he was sent to prison as a result of his friendship with Dai Mingshi (who was executed for treason), but he was released after 18 months and subsequently pardoned. He was then employed in several high academic posts at court, and was involved in the compilation of a number of collections of essays and commentaries.