She was the wife of a high official of Xianbei 鮮卑 origin called Houmochen Miao 侯莫陳邈. Her niece became the consort of Prince Yong 永王, and for her instruction, Miss Zheng wrote a book, similar to Ban Zhao 班昭 (c. 45-c. 117 CE), who had written the book Nüjie 女誡 for her daughters during the Han period 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE).
The Nü xiaojing is first mentioned during the Song period 宋 (960-1279), but it is known that a painter from the early 10th century, Shi Ke 石恪, had created a series of 8 paintings depicting female comportment, according to the book Nü xiaojing.
The book imitates the structure of the Confucian Classic Xiaojing 孝經 "Classic of Filial Piety", while the content is so similar to Ban Zhao's Nüjie that some scholars attributed authorship to the Han period writer. The words are, through a stylistic device, put into the mouth of Ban Zhao. Miss Zheng thus transfers responsibility – and honour – on a venerated teacher of the past. The book is divided into 18 chapters.
In her preface Miss Zheng says that filial piety alone is not sufficient. A woman must also possess kindness, a feeling for the appropriate, etiquette, wisdom, and trust (the five Confucian moralities, wuchang 五常).
The text is included in the encyclopaedia Gujin tushu jicheng 古今圖書集成 (section Jiafan dian 家範典). It is also included in the series Xu baichuan xuehai 續百川學海, Xiao shisan jing 小十三經, Gezhi congshu 格致叢書, Jindai mishu 津逮秘書, and Ershier zi quanshu 廿二子全書. There is furthermore a print of the Dongting Liangtang Studio 東聼兩堂, and the collection Nü'er shuji bazhong 女兒書輯八種.
|開宗明義||Kaizong mingyi||Opening the theme and clarifying its importance|
|后妃||Houfei||Empresses and consorts|
|邦君||Bangjun||The lord of a state|
|事舅姑||Shi jiugu||Serving the parents-in-law|
|三才||Sancai||The three talents|
|賢明||Xianming||Wisdom and competence|
|紀德行||Ji dexing||Notifiction on moral conduct|
|五刑||Wuxing||The five punishments|
|廣要道||Guang yaodao||Spreading importance|
|廣守信||Guang shouxin||Spreading trust|
|廣揚名||Guang yangming||Spreading a good name|
|貽教||Yijiao||Handing down education|