Yan Fu (Yen Fu) 1854-1921

Translator, writer and late-Qing reformist. Born in Fujian, Yan Fu initially received an education in the Confucian classics, but in 1867 passed the entrance exams to the naval academy in Fuzhou. After five years there learning English, modern sciences and navigation, he was selected for advanced professional training overseas in 1877 and attended the Greenwich Naval College for two years. On his return, Yan Fu became involved in the reform movement, writing essays for various newspapers. In 1987, he published his translation of a part of Thomas Huxley's Evolution and Ethics and Other Essays, the first of a series of important translations Yan made over a decade. In late life, Yan wrote commentaries on the Wang Bi text of the Daode jing and Zhuangzi. He also wrote poetry in the shi and ci forms.