William John Francis Jenner

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William John Francis Jenner
OccupationLecturer, translator
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Oxford[which?]
ThesisMemories of Loyang. Yang Hsüan-chih and the Lost Capital
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of Leeds, Australian National University, University of East Anglia.
Main interestsChinese history, Chinese literature

William (Bill) John Francis Jenner (Chinese: 詹纳尓; born 1940) is an English sinologist, specialising in Chinese history and culture, and translator of Chinese literature.


From 1958 to 1962 Jenner studied sinology at Oxford and wrote his dissertation about the history of Luoyang in the 5th and 6th century. His first wife was the China scholar Delia Davin.[1]

From 1963 to 1965 he worked as a translator at Foreign Languages Press in Beijing. There he translated From Emperor to Citizen, an "autobiography" of the last Emperor of China, Puyi, and started translating the novel Journey to the West into English.

Since 1965 he taught at the University of Leeds, Australian National University and the University of East Anglia.

From 1979 to 1985 Jenner travelled to China every summer, and worked on the translation of Journey to the West and other works, for example by Lu Xun. He has written about the process and politics of translating and publishing Journey to the West in an essay published in the Los Angeles Review of Books (3 Feb 2016).[2]

His most recent project is The History of China in two volumes.

Jenner has two daughters and one son.

Partial bibliography[edit]


  • Cheng'en, Wu. Journey to the West. W.J.F. Jenner (translator). Beijing: Foreign Languages Press.
  • Xun, Lu (1982). Selected Poems. W.J.F. Jenner (translator). Beijing: Foreign Languages Press.
  • Ling, Ding (1985). Miss Sophie's Diary and Other Stories. W.J.F. Jenner (translator). Beijing: Panda Books / Chinese Literature Press.
  • Various (1970). Modern Chinese Stories. W.J.F. Jenner (translator) and Gladys Yang (translator). Oxford University Press.
  • Various (1987). Chinese Lives. An Oral History of Contemporary China. W.J.F. Jenner (translator), Delia Davin (translator) and Cheng Lingfang (translator). New York: Pantheon.
  • Pu Yi, Aisin-Gioro (1987). From Emperor to Citizen. The Autobiography of Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi. W.J.F. Jenner (translator). Oxford University Press.
Pu Yi, Aisin-Gioro (1992). From Emperor to Citizen. The Autobiography of Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi. W.J.F. Jenner (translator). Beijing: Foreign Languages Press.
  • Leping, Zhang (1981). Adventures of Sanmao the Orphan. W.J.F. Jenner (translator) and C.M. Chan (translator). Hong Kong: Joint Publications.
  • Jen, Yu-wen (1969). The Taiping Revolutionary Movement.


  • Jenner, W.J.F. (1981). Memories of Loyang. Yang Hsüan-chih and the Lost Capital, 493–534. Oxford / New York: Clarendon Press / Oxford University Press.
  • Jenner, W.J.F. (1992). The Tyranny of History. The Roots of China's Crisis. London: Penguin.
  • Jenner, W.J.F. (1993). A Knife in My Ribs for a Mate. Reflections on Another Chinese Tradition. Canberra: Australian National University.



  1. ^ Gittings, John (16 October 2016). "Delia Davin obituary". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  2. ^ Journeys to the East, “Journey to the West” – Los Angeles Review of Books