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Writing Her Way through the Legend of Yue Fei: Zhou Yingfang and Jing zhong zhuan

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General Yue Fei has long been considered a symbol of loyalty and resistance in Chinese history. His legend has been circulating in various forms since the twelfth century. In the context of the emerging women-authored tanci narratives and the political disorder of late 19th century China, this article examines how the gentry woman author Zhou Yingfang 周颖芳 (1829–95) enriches the narratives of Yue Fei by inserting a number of domestic themes into her tanci adaptation. She redefines the virtues of both genders and expects transformed family dynamics. In considering scholarly interpretations of the tanci in the modern period, this article also argues that the May Fourth scholars tended to neglect and/or suppress Zhou Yingfang’s gendered consciousness in her alternative imagination of history.


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