Whang Atong

By a weird coincidence, as I arrive in Beijing, I am reading an excellent biography of Sir William Jones by Michael Franklin and discover that Jones was not only interested in Persian and Arabic, which I already knew, but translated a Chinese ode when he was in Paris in 1770 having had dinner at the house of Joshua Reynolds with Whang Atong, a visitor from Canton.   Jones collected Chinese manuscripts whilst a judge in Calcutta and tried to persuade Whang to translate more early Chinese poetry into English, long, long before Arthur Waley.


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