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True to Her WordThe Faithful Maiden Cult in Late Imperial China$
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Weijing Lu

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804758086

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804758086.001.0001

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Putting Young Heroines in the Spotlight

Putting Young Heroines in the Spotlight

The Seventeenth Century

(p.49) Chapter 2 Putting Young Heroines in the Spotlight
True to Her Word
Stanford University Press

This chapter is concerned with the dynastic crisis of the seventeenth century. It deals with how the fall of the Ming in 1644 and the subsequent Manchu conquest transformed the ways in which the elite interpreted the faithful maiden act and constructed a special relationship between Confucian literati and the faithful maiden cult. Dramatic details were common in writings about faithful maidens. The faithful maidens who committed (or attempted to commit) suicide took center stage. The Snow-White Chinese flowering apple incident, the Song Dian incident, and the Wang Xiuwen saga are examples of this. The immense interest of the early Qing literati in promoting faithful maidens was deeply embedded in intense emotions over the political crisis of the Ming–Qing transition.

Keywords:   faithful maiden, Ming, Manchu conquest, Confucian literati, suicide, flowering apple, Song Dian, Wang Xiuwen, Qing literati

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