"Phan Huy Chu 1762-1840 was from a clan renowned for its scholarly achievments. While Chu never passed the highest-level exam, he nonetheless obtained a job working for the Nguyen court, where he justified his family's claim to fame by compiling a massive encyclopedic record of the institutional history of the Southern Kingdom. In 1824, shortly after completing this work, Chu was dispatched to the North as an envoy. When he returned in 1826, he compiled the 280 poems that he had composed along the way." |
Photo is of “Mandarin on a horse with servant”.-Detail from the “Martydom of Pierre Khanh” (Hà-Tinh, Tongking, 12.7.1842). Painting by a contemporary Vietnamese artist.
Liam Kelley in his book on Vietnamese envoy poetry, Beyond the Bronze Pillars