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Guangdong's Talented Women Of The Eighteenth Century

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Chapter Summary

This chapter introduces eight important eighteenth-century women writers from Guangdong. It then focuses on two other aspects of women's literary culture that stand out in contrast to the Jiangnan situation. These are Guangdong literary women's special interest in history and the more family-based creative context in which they worked and lived. The chapter finally explores how Guangdong women are represented in local and national poetry anthologies, especially Yun Zhu's 惲珠 Guochao guixiu zhengshi ji 國朝閨秀正始集 of 1831 and its 1836 sequel. The observations offered in the chapter tentatively suggest that through the end of the eighteenth century Guangdong's women maintained an active literary culture as Jiangnan's flagged, and that this culture had two special characteristics: a greater interest in history and a lesser degree of activity outside the family than in Jiangnan.

Keywords: eighteenth century; Guangdong; Guangdong literary women; Jiangnan



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