This rich collection of writings—many translated especially for this volume and some available in English for the first time—provides a journey through the history of Chinese culture, tracing the Chinese understanding of women as elucidated in writings spanning more than two thousand years. From the earliest oracle bone inscriptions of the Pre-Qin period through the poems and stories of the Song Dynasty, these works shed light on Chinese images of women and their roles in society in terms of such topics as human nature, cosmology, gender, and virtue.
". . . this work is a monumental effort on the part of the editor and contributors and can be used in many different ways and for many different purposes. The most rewarding, but also the most demanding, is to read it from cover to cover; this will afford diligent readers a wide perspective and enable them to gain a more profound understanding of the wide variety of ideologies and practices that existed in ancient China regarding women and gender, and the changes and developments in these ideas and practices through the ages. Alternatively, it can be used as a reference to locate specific texts with their translation. Not least, it can be used as a sourcebook for teaching gender in a particular dynasty, school of thought, or literary genre."
—Lily Xiao Hong Lee, China Review International
"Wang's comprehensive anthology, utilizing the expertise of contemporary sinologists, historians, and philosophers, is an impressive collection of translated classical writings that provides scholars an invaluable tool for surveying the images of women across the literary landscape of China. . . . Particularly suitable as a source book not just for scholarly research but for classroom teaching as well."
—Li-Hsiang Lisa Rosenlee, Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy
Acknowledgments; Traditional Chronology; Introduction
PART ONE: Shang and Western Zhou (1600-771 B.C.E.): Oracle Bone Inscriptions on Women. The Book of Odes. The Classic of Changes. The Canon of Documents. The Record of Rites.
PART TWO: Eastern Zhou (770-221 B.C.E): Analects of Confucius. Daodejing. The Zuo Commentary. Discourses of the States. The Classic of Mountains and Seas. Nü Gua: from Liezi. Mozi. Mencius. Zhuangzi. Xunzi. Hanfeizi. The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine. The Annals of Lü Buwei. Nine Songs.
PART THREE: Han (202 B.C.E.-220 C.E.): Master Prince of Huainan. Stratagems of the Warring States. Biographies of Women. Luxuriant Gems of the Spring and Autumn. Comprehensive Discussions in the White Tiger Hall. Lessons for Women. A General Discussion of Customs. Classic of the White Girl, or the Art of the Bedchamber.
PART FOUR: Wei, Jin, Nan-Bei Chao (220-581 C.E.): In Search of the Supernatural. A New Account of Tales of the World. New Songs from a Jade Terrace. Family Instructions to the Yan Clan. The Ballad of Mulan. Women in the Standard Histories.
PART FIVE: Tang and Song (618-1279 C.E.): The Forty-Two Chapters Sutra. The Sutra of the Teaching of Vimalakirti. The Story of Dragon King's Daughter: From the Devadatta Chapter of the Lotus Sutra. Guanyin Chapter of the Lotus Sutra. The Blood Tray Sutra. Dunhuang Prayers. Tang Epitaphs for Confucian, Daoist, and Buddhist Women. Reflections on Things at Hand and Further Reflections on Things at Hand. The Analects for Women. Examination Essays. The Daoist Goddess, Queen Mother of the West: From Assembled Trancendents of the Fortified Walled City. The Daoist Saint Xue Xuantong: From Assembled Trancendents of the Fortified Walled City. The Book of Filial Piety and The Book of Filial Piety for Women. The Story of Yingying. The Story of Miss Li. Precepts for Family Life. Tang Poems for My Beloved Wife. Song of Lasting Regret. Song Poems for Daughters. The Ci of Shuyü. Classic for Girls.
About the Author:
Robin R. Wang is Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.