Zhang Dai 1597-1689

Prose writer and historian of the late Ming and early Qing dynasties. Zhang Dai was born in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province and came from a prominent family. In 1618, he began the ten-year task of compiling biographies of men and women who had died in the cause of justice. On the completion of that project, he embarked on a monumental history of the Ming dynasty 'the Shi kui shu [Book of the stone case]' which fell to Manchu invaders mid-way through Zhang's life. To the last part of Zhang Dai's life belongs the Tao'an mengyi [Recollections of Tao'an's past dreams], a collection of nostalgic sketches vividly depicting scenes and personalities.