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A study into the authenticity of the editorship of Lady Zhang Lihua under which Yutai xinyong comes out in the Chen Empire in the period of the Six Southern dynasties

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Yutai xinyong 玉台新咏 (The Original Poetic Compositions in The Jeweled Palace) is an overwhelmingly important anthology of poetry that was passed down from the period of the Six Southern dynasties (Liuchao 六朝). In the Song dynasty founded by the House of Zhao it was said that the anthology was compiled by Xu Ling 徐陵, and this point of view has thereupon been taken universally since the Yuan and Ming periods. In this article after the “Preface” (“Yutai xinyong xu” 玉台新咏序) by Xu Ling comes under rigorous scrutiny, a reasonable interpretation is brought to light, where it may have been revealed unmistakably in the “Preface” that the anthology was compiled by a beautiful imperial concubine who had basked in the supreme favor with the emperor, and possessed formidable talent. The present author works on the research studies to prove that it is unlikely for the viewpoint implied in the “Preface” to have been an artful pretext for the editorship. And to judge from the matters of the empresses and concubines in the Liang and Chen imperial harem, a valid conclusion follows in the research studies, where Yutai xinyong is most likely to have been edited by Lady Zhang Lihua 张丽华 (?–CE 589), the imperial concubine of the Last Emperor of Chen (Chen houzhu 陈后主) (CE 553–604). And in addition, to centre around the focal point, the close investigations have, in this connection, been pursued into such crucial questions as the editions of the anthology and the accounts written in former times of the anthology, so that further clarification could be given to break down the popular misconception about the editorship of the anthology.


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