Yuan Chen China England

Biography of Yuan Chen

Yuan Chen, Matriculation Slip 1915-16
Yuan Chen, Matriculation Slip 1915-16

Yuan Chen enrolled at the Arts faculty of the University of Glasgow for one year in 1915, taking classes in Logic, Chemistry, and Mathematics. He became a prominent writer and cultural critic under the pen name Chen Xiying.

Chen was born in Wuxi, Jiangsu, son of Cho-Yuen, an editor. He came to the UK in 1913 where he completed his high school education. He then enrolled at the University of Glasgow for an Arts course in 1915, before going on to study and graduate from the Universities of Edinburgh and London, where he obtained his PhD in 1922.

Chen returned to China where he was appointed Professor of Foreign Languages at Beijing University, now the prestigious Peking University. In 1929 he became dean of the Faculty of Arts at Wuhan University. In 1945, he left China for the UK this time with his wife, Shu-Hua Ling (Ling Shuhua), also a prominent writer in China. From London, Ling represented China at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Ling died in London in 1970, and is buried in the family tomb in Wuxi.

Chen was co-founder and editor of the more conservative Chinese literary society's journal Xiandai pinglun (Modern Critique). His wider body of work also includes prose, such as his two published books XIYING XIANHUA (Causeries of Xiying) and XIYING HOUHUA, and translations, having translated Fathers and Sons by Russian novelist, Ivan Turgenev, and works of other foreign writers.


Other Online Resources

Printed Materials

  • Lily Xiao Hong Lee and A D Stefanowska (eds), Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women, Armonk: New York, 2003, p.352

Archival Materials

  • R8/5/36/1 Matriculation Slips 1915-1916 Men A - C


Yuan Chen
Born 10 May 1896.
Died 29 March 1970.
GU Degree: Arts, 1915;
University Link: Student
Occupation categories: linguists
English snippet: Famous writer, and Professor of Foreign Languages at Peking University
Record last updated: 30th Jan 2014

Country Associations

China China, Jiangsu, Wuxi
Place of Birth

England England, London
Place of Death

University Connections

University Roles

  • Student