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Chinese Literature
Nüxue 女學

The Four Categories of Literature
Nüxue 女學 "Lessons for girls" is the earliest Qing period 清 (1644-1911) textbook for girls. It was written by Lan Dingyuan 藍鼎元 and is 4 juan "scrolls" long, corresponding to four chapters. All chapters are enriched with quotations from ancient books demonstrating how a wife could be perfect in the Confucian sense. Yet the book also stresses that learning is an indispensable factor for the education of a girl. A women without proper knowledge can not fulfill her duties in the right way. Only when educated in the right way a wife would be able to serve her husband, to look after her sisters-in-law, to abstay from jealousy, to manage the household economically, and to educate her children in the right way.

婦德 Fude The virtue of a wife
婦言 Fuyan The words of a wife
婦容 Furong The appearance of a wife
婦功 Fugong The skills of a wife

Source: Ren Fang 任芳 (1995), "Nüxue 女學", in Lu Leshan 盧樂山 (ed.), Zhongguo nüxing baike quanshu 中國女性百科全書, Hunyin jiating 婚姻家庭 (Shenyang: Dongbei daxue chubanshe), p. 73.

June 20, 2011 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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