Comments of a Recluse: Ten Juan


Qian fu lun (Comments of a recluse) is a work of Wang Fu, a scholar and thinker of Eastern Han (25‒220). Wang Fu (circa 85‒circa 163), courtesy name Jiexin, was a native of Anding Linjing (present-day Zhenyuan, Gansu). Living a life of retirement and writing, he endorsed frugality, refrained from luxury, and criticized and ridiculed the striving for gain that he observed around him and that he saw reflected in many contemporary policies. Not wishing to call attention to his own name, he used qian fu (recluse) in his title. The work has 36 chapters in ten juan. It consists mainly of political discourses on government administration and the social welfare of the people, in which the author exposes the corrupt and dark aspects of the society, politics, and local customs of the late Han dynasty. A few chapters are related to Wang Fu’s philosophical thoughts. Presented here is a facsimile handwritten copy that was in the collection of the family of Feng Shu (1593‒1645). Courtesy name Jicang, style name Mo’an, Feng Shu was a native of Changshu, Jiangsu, and a famed bibliophile in the late Ming and early Qing. He edited this copy, based on a reprinted Song edition, and managed to retain the features of the Song editions. The copy was once held in the Shugutang Library, owned by book collector Qian Zeng (1629‒1701).

Last updated: July 12, 2017