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Zhang Dai

Author, Chinese
Zhang Dai (1597–1689) was a Ming Dynasty Chinese writer. He was a gentleman essayist who was a biographer of his own privileged aritocratic family, a historian of the Ming Dynasty, and a biographer of notable virtuous figures. He wrote his own obituary, which included the lines: “He loved pretty maidservants, he loved handsome serving boys . . . he loved perfect food . . . he loved paintings of flowers and birds.” Zhang was a prolific writer, having penned more than thirty books covering literature and history; however, only a few of Zang’s numerous works remain extant today.