Song Lian (Sung Lien) 1310-1381

Prose writer working at the end of the Yuan and beginning of the Ming dynasties. He showed remarkable ability as student and later succeeded to the directorship of a private family-school where he had once studied. During this time, he lived in semi-retirement in eastern Zhejiang, attracting the attention of his contemporaries with his writing. However, after 1360, he became an advisor to the first Ming emperor Zhu Yuanzhang and rose to prominence in official life, playing a chief role in the compilation of the Yuanshi [Official History of the Yuan Dynasty] and serving in various offices in the Hanlin Academy. He is chiefly known for his guwen prose style, although unlike other advocates of guwen, he was more interested in the function of style with regard to the expression of ideas than in purely stylistic matters.

Works available in English:

  • Economic Structure of the Yuan Dynasty: Translation of Chapters 93 and 94
       of the Yuan Shih
    (Herbert Franz Schurmann). Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard
       University Press, 1956.
  • The Military Establishment of the Yuan Dynasty (Hsiao Chi-ching). Cambridge,
       Mass.: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University: Distributed by
       Harvard University Press, 1978.