Zhang Deyi 1847-1918

His ancestors had migrated from Fujian province to Manchuria, and were enlisted as Chinese Banner Troops when the Manchus invaded China. Born in a poor family, entry into the Tongwen Guan was an opportunity for him, and he was accepted in the first batch of ten students in 1862. He made good progress in English, and was selected to accompany the first fact-finding mission to Europe in 1866, followed by a mission to America and Europe in 1868 and a mission to France in 1871. His Strange Tales from Over the Ocean, Further Strange Tales, and Strange Tales, Three were respectively diaries of his three missions abroad. Zhang's further five diaries of foreign missions—three more to London, one to Berlin, one to Japan—marked more steps up the ladder for him, the culmination being his appointment as minister to Britain from 1902 to 1905. In between he was made tutor in English to the Guangxu Emperor in 1891.