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The great diversity of women exemplars in China of late Qing

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A group of illustrious women were introduced into China from the West in late Qing with Western learning spreading to the East, which presented an extraordinarily huge challenge to the traditional Chinese female ideal. The search for new exemplary women was actually in correspondence with the rising tide of women’s social education during that historical period. By interweaving the development of new education with the establishment of new exemplary women, the essay will explore the great diversity of women exemplars of late Qing in China emerging from an optional introduction of notable women from the West and the reevaluation of traditional women role models in China. The study will be carried out through the close-readings of seven biographies of famous Chinese and Western women published at that time and several biographical sketches carried in the columns of biography in Beijing nübao 北京 女报 (Beijing Women’s Newspaper) and Nüzi shijie 女子世界 (Women’s World) issued respectively in Beijing and Shanghai.


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