Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Chiang Kuang-hsü

CHIANG Kuang-hsü 蔣光煦 (T. 日甫, 愛荀, H. 生沐, 放庵), 1813–1860, bibliophile and scholar, was born of a good family in Chia-shih (蛺石), a town in the district of Hai-ning, Chekiang. After the death of his father, about the year 1822, he was brought up with great care by his mother. As he advanced in his studies he took an interest in collecting books and in criticizing texts. In these matters he was influenced much by Ch'ien T'ai-chi [q. v.] with whom he was on intimate terms throughout his life. By 1841 Chiang's collection, in his studio named Pieh-hsia chai 別下齋, is said to have reached some 50,000 chüan. On the basis of this rich collection he edited two collectanea of rare works: Pieh-hsia chai ts'ung-shu and 涉聞梓舊 Shê-wên tzŭ-chiu, each containing about 25 items. These two collectanea were printed seriatim during the second quarter of the 19th century, and after re-editing in 1856 were reprinted. The printing-blocks for this edition were destroyed by fire during the Taiping Rebellion, but a new edition appeared in Shanghai in 1923–24. Chiang published in 1851 a collection of criticisms on the texts of fourteen classics under the title 斠補隅錄 Chiao-pu yü-lu—a work later reprinted by his son, Chiang T'ing-fu 蔣廷黻 (T. 稚鶴, H. 盥廬), a chin-shih of 1890. Chiang Kuang-hsü was an intelligent collector of ancient bronzes, paintings and calligraphy. About the year 1856 he published a collection of miscellaneous remarks on bibliography and epigraphy in 6 chüan under the title 東湖叢記 Tung-hu ts'ung-chi. This work was reprinted by Miao Ch'üan-sun (see under Chang Chih-tung) in his 雲自在龕叢書 Yün tzŭ-tsai-k'an ts'ung-shu (1883). In most of the afore-mentioned undertakings Chiang was assisted by several local scholars whom he patronized. Among them may be mentioned Hsü Kuang-ch'ing 許光清 (T. 藑那, 雲堂, H. 心如, 天田牧, original ming 洪喬, 丙鴻) and Kuan T'ing-fên 管庭芬 (T. 培蘭, H. 蕋湘, 蕋翁, 1797–1880). The latter was a brilliant student of bibliography and of the history of his native region who excelled also as a painter of orchids. Among some twenty works by Kuan may be mentioned the 海昌經藉著錄考 Hai ch'ang ching-chi chu-lu k'ao, 22 chüan, a bibliography of his native district (Hai-ning), which was printed in 1921 with a supplement in 2 chüan by Chiang Hsüeh-chien 蔣學堅 (T. 子貞, H. 懷亭, 石南老人) under the new title Hai-ch'ang i-wên chih (藝文志). It was reprinted as part of the 海寧州志稿 Hai-ning chou-chih kao (1922).

Chiang Kuang-hsü was also a good poet and a painter, some of his poems being published under the title 花樹草堂吟稿 Hua-shu ts'ao-t'ang yin-kao. He patronized many impecunious poets, allowing them to live in his residence. In 1859 when the Taipings invaded Chekiang he lived temporarily at the home of Kuan T'ing-fên and then took refuge in a rural district. In 1860 the Taipings burnt and pillaged Chia-shih, the town where his home was situated. In consequence most of his collections and the manuscript drafts of his unpublished works were destroyed or dispersed. He died broken-hearted at the close of that year. An annotated catalogue of his collection of paintings and calligraphy, compiled by him with the assistance of Hsü Kuang-ch'ing's younger brother, Hsü Kuang-chih 許光治 (T. 龍華, H. 羹梅, 穗嫣, 寵花居士, d. 1855), was partly preserved by Kuan T'ing-fên. The latter re-edited it in 7 chüan under the title Pieh-hsia chai shu-hua lu (書畫錄). This work was printed in the Chiang-shih chü-chên pan ts'ung-shu (see under P'an Shih-ên).

One of Chiang's sons, Chiang Hsüeh-p'u 蔣學溥 (T. 長孺, 澤山, H. 植柵, 莪廬, 1846–1890), graduated as chü-jên in 1875, and served in the Chekiang Printing Office (浙江書局) for about ten years. About 1888 he was invited by Chang Chih-tung [q. v.] to Canton where he was made head of the newly-established Kuang-ya Printing Office (see under Chang). In 1889 he was assistant examiner of Kwangtung province. Chiang Hsüeh-p'u is said to have published several small collections of his own literary works, among them: 莪廬詩錄 Ê-lu shih-lu, 2 chüan; Ê-lu wên-lu (文錄), 2 chüan; and Ê-lu cha-chi (札記), 8 chüan. He was an intimate friend of Yü Yüeh [q. v.].


[Yeh Ch'ang-ch'ih (see under P'an Tsu-yin) Ts'ang-shu chi-shih shih (1910) 6/42b, 48b; Hai-ning chou-chih kao, chüan 15 and 29; Yü Yüeh, Ch'un-tsai t'ang tsa-wên wu-pien (雜文五編) 5/5a; Library Science Quarterly III, No. 3 (1929), portrait of Chiang Kuang-hsü and painting of Pieh-hsia chai.]

Hiromu Momose