Beauty and Books
Author: Wei Ailian Uploaded Time: 2017-04-30

Since the second half of the Sixteenth Century, there have been a large number of female writers in China. At that time, society began to accept the poems of women from families of the gentry. The publication of novels entered a period of prosperity. However, compared with the situation in the west, Chinese women wrote fewer novels, and this situation did not change until the Twentieth Century.

Preface for Chinese Version

Chapter One  From the 17th Century to the 19th Century
Background and Foundation

Part One  Female Readers in the Early 19th Century

Chapter Two  Female Readers of “The Dream of the Red Chamber" and "Jinghuayuan"
Women and The Dream of the Red Chamber
Biographical perspective
Four kinds of women’s inscriptions
The creation of "Jinghuayuan" and women epigraphers

Chapter Three  Hou Zhi and Women Tanci
Hou Zhi's life and literary career
From poetry to Tanci novels
"Recreating Life" and its potential rhetoric
From "Jinghuayuan" to "Recreating Life"

Chapter Four  Lives of Three Female Writers
Liang Desheng
From Liang Desheng to Wang Duan
Wang Duan
Yun Zhu

Chapter Five  Novel as a Part of Female Literature: Starting from the 1830s
Early 19th Century and the early Qing Dynasty
Fiction and essays
Women's literary ecology: Professors and networks
Women's literary ecology: Privacy and home
Women's literary ecology: Recession in the 18th Century?
Commercial publishing

Part Two  Women As Writers and Shape Makers

Chapter Six  "The Dream of the Red Chamber" in the 19th Century
"Dream of the Red Chamber" as an autobiography

Chapter Seven  Female Readers of "The Dream of the Red Chamber"
A series of books on "The Dream of the Red Chamber"
Continued books of "The Dream of the Red Chamber", novels on gifted scholars and beautiful ladies and female Tanci
Women and continued books of "The Dream of the Red Chamber"
"The Red Chamber" as a continuation of "The Dream of the Red Chamber"

Chapter Eight  Women, Publishing and Literary Thoughts in the Late Qing Dynasty
The origin of Manchu in the "Dream of the Red Chamber"
Different times, different novels
"Dream of the Red Chamber" and “Women Prisoners”


Translation Postscript