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Images of Women in Late Ming Huizhou-printed Editions of the Lienü zhuan

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In the active world of late Ming publishing (1580–1644), illustrated books edited and printed by people from Huizhou had an important role, both in terms of quality and quantity. At that time, the best-sellers seem to have been literary works such as novels and theatrical plays, but Lienü zhuan (Biographies of women) editions were also popular. The profusion of visual representations beside the texts was appreciated by readers (and buyers), for both aesthetic and educative reasons. Focusing on the Gu Lienü zhuan (Ancient ‘Biographies of women’) circa 1606, and on the edition known as Huitu Lienü zhuan (Illustrated ‘Biographies of women’) also produced at the end of the Ming but better known for its reprint around the end of the eighteenth century, this article closely examines two facets of these works: the orthodoxy represented in the choice of canonical versions of the Lienü zhuan, and the expression of this orthodoxy in the depictions of female behavior according to the stories in this text.


Affiliations: 1: École française d’Extrême-Orient – Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine
michela.bussotti@efeo.net


10.1163/15685268-00171p03
/content/journals/10.1163/15685268-00171p03
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/content/journals/10.1163/15685268-00171p03
2015-12-02
2017-11-18

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