Precious Records: Women in China's Long Eighteenth Century

Couverture
Stanford University Press, 1997 - 326 pages
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This first book-length study of gender relations in the Lower Yangzi region during the High Qing era (c. 1683-1839) challenges enduring late-nineteenth-century perspectives that emphasized the oppression and subjugation of Chinese women. Placing women at the center of the High Qing era shows how gender relations shaped the economic, political, social, and cultural changes of the age, and gives us a sense of what women felt and believed, and what they actually did, during this period.

Most analyses of gender in High Qing times have focused on literature and on the writings of the elite; this book broadens the scope of inquiry to include women's work in the farm household, courtesan entertainment, and women s participation in ritual observances and religion. In dealing with literature, it shows how women's poetry can serve the historian as well as the literary critic, drawing on one of the first anthologies of women's writing compiled by a woman to examine not only literary sensibilities and intimate emotions, but also political judgments, moral values, and social relations.

After an introductory chapter that evaluates the historiography of Chinese women, the book surveys High Qing history, charts the female life course, and discusses women's place in writing and learning, in entertainment, at work, and in religious practice. The concluding chapter returns to broad historiographic questions about where women figure in space and time and why we can no longer write histories that ignore them.

 

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Table des matières

Introduction
1
Gender
19
The Life Course
45
Writing
76
Bearing the Palanquin Through Peach Gorge by Wang Yingfu
95
Bringing Still More for Consideration and Selection by Hu Junsheng
96
Saucers and teapot with painted enamel showing mothers educating their sons
107
Illustrated Appreciation of the Poem Graceful Is the Peach
111
The Consort Yinzhen Sewing
147
Men Plow Women Weave
154
Plucking Cotton
157
Ladies Embroidering
160
Weary from Embroidering
161
Ladies embroidering
162
Begging for skill at Double Seven
172
Piety
178

Entertainment
121
A guixiu boudoir and bedchamber
132
The Money Tree
134
Work
143
Reeling thread
144
Loom
145
Adding Thread at the Winter Solstice by Jin Tingbiao
146
Gender Relations Through Space and Time
201
Mu Lan the woman warrior Hua Mulan
209
Other portraits of historical and mythical figures in the One Hundred Beauties genre
211
The Spatial Distribution of Women Writers in Qing Times
229
References
293
Character List 281 Index
317

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À propos de l'auteur (1997)

Susan Mann is Professor of History at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of Local Merchants and the Chinese Bureaucracy, 1750-1950 (Stanford, 1987).

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