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Mediated imaginings: Biographies of western women and their japanese sources in late Qing China

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Chapter Summary

Authors and editors of new-style textbooks and organs of the periodical press-the two most effective media for transmitting Western ideas to the Chinese reading public in late Qing period-were not only committed to raising their female readers' basic level of literacy but also their level of political, cultural, and global literacy. This chapter first examines the historical significance of the addition of Western women to the repertoire of Chinese exemplars. It then traces the specific textual route through which the ur-biographies of the more prominent Western women became established in late Qing materials. Finally, the chapter briefly analyzes the appropriation of the life stories of two particular Western paragons, the renowned militant patriot Joan of Arc and the American educator, Mary Lyon.

Keywords: biography; Japanese source; Joan of Arc; later Qing China; Mary Lyon; Western women



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