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Between Birth and DeathFemale Infanticide in Nineteenth-Century China$
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Michelle T. King

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804785983

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804785983.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 13 October 2019

Reforming Customs

Reforming Customs

Scholars and Morality

Chapter:
(p.46) Two Reforming Customs
Source:
Between Birth and Death
Author(s):

Michelle T. King

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804785983.003.0003

Chapter 2 considers the circle of concerned Chinese men who were not privy to the intimacies of the birth chamber but still advocated the prevention of female infanticide in the wider public, through philanthropic endeavors within their communities. Female infanticide was most frequently described in male-authored Chinese texts as a deplorable local custom, and managed on a local or regional scale. Our guide in this chapter is Yu zhi (1804-74), a little-known country schoolteacher, who devoted himself to the practice of good works and the improvement of moral behavior at all levels of society. Exhorting one’s fellow man not to commit female infanticide was but one small part of a typical portfolio of mid-nineteenth-century philanthropy, especially in the aftermath of the Taiping Rebellion (1850-64).

Keywords:   infanticide, China, Taiping Rebellion, Yu Zhi, morality books, Yuguai tu, foundling

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