Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Emperor Qianlong as a blogger

Qianlong in his study, possibly by Giuseppe Castiglione

I'm off to Beijing on Friday so I've got emperors on the brain. It is said that the Qianlong Emperor (Qing Dynasty 1711 - 1799) composed over 40,000 poems and 1,300 prose texts during his lifetime. Quite a remarkable feat. He would have made a pretty serious blogger as 40,000 poems means making at least 1-2 postings a day, every day for his entire lifetime, if he started writing at say the age of ten. He was a busy beaver in more ways than this, he also had 17 wives, 17 sons and 10 daughters (his grandfather Kangxi had 56 children) and travelled extensively.