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True to Her Word
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True to Her Word: The Faithful Maiden Cult in Late Imperial China

Weijing Lu


This book examines the broad cultural, social, and gender meanings of the “faithful maiden” cult in late imperial China (1368–1911). Across the empire, an increasing number of young women or “faithful maidens,” defied their parents' wishes and chose either to live out their lives as widows upon the death of a fiancé or killed themselves to join their fiancé in death. The book analyzes the familial conflicts, government policies, ideological controversies, and personal emotions surrounding the cult. Concentrating on the dramatic acts of spirit wedding and suicide, the faithful maidens' unique c ... More

Keywords: faithful maiden, late imperial China, young women, widows, familial conflicts, government policies, ideological controversies, personal emotions, cult, spirit wedding

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780804758086
Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013 DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804758086.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Weijing Lu, author