Li Shuchang 1837-1898

A native of Zunyi, Guizhou province, Li was born into a family of scholars and officials but was unsuccessful in the juren examinations. In 1862, after the Second Opium War, his policy proposal submitted to the Qing court won praise for its literary flair and led to a minor post under Zeng Guofan. In 1876 Zeng recommended him to join the Guo Songdao mission to Britain, and he was later made attache at the German and Spanish legations. In 1881 he was recalled to serve as Consul in Japan, where he remained until 1890. In Japan he collected Chinese texts lost in their homeland, accumulating twenty-six works which he published as Guyi congshu (Collection of Lost Ancient Works). Li's writings on Europe include Xiyang Zaji (Recollections of the West) and Xiyang youji (Travels in the West), as well as various essays and letters.