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Chinese Literature
Lüchuang nüshi 綠窗女史 "A Women's History from the Green Window"


The Lüchuang nüshi 綠窗女史 "A Women's History from the Green Window" is a collectaneum compiled by a scholar called Qin-Huai yuke 秦淮寓客, who is probably identical to Ji Zhenlun 紀振倫, author of the novel Yangjia tongsu yanyi 楊家通俗演義 and lived around 1600. It includes 45 texts about women and education for girls with a total length of 14 juan "scrolls". The collection is very rare, but constitutes an important source for the history of women in China, providing information about the lives, work, marriage, love, moral conduct, and writings. The texts are arranged into 10 categories, namely the boudoir (Guige 閨閣), the women's quarters in the palace (Gongwei 宮闈), stories of providence (Yuan'ou 緣偶), from the netherworld (Minggan 冥感), of seductresses (Yaoyan 妖艷), heroines (Jiexia 節俠), immortals (Shenxian 神仙), concubines (Qiebi 妾婢), courtesans (Qinglou 青樓), and female writers (Zhuanzhu 著撰), and many more sub-categories. Some of the texts include illustrations. The most famous texts of the collection are Wang Zhaojun zhuan´ 王昭君傳, Zhao Feiyan waizhuan 趙飛燕外傳, Yingying zhuan 鶯鶯傳, Chunmenglu 春夢錄, Huanyanji 還煙記, Hun zayi zhu 婚雜儀著 and Yuerongpian 悦容篇. They belong to many literary genres, from biographies and novellas to songs and poems, "miscellaneous records" and "informative letters" to the precursors of theatre plays. Some of the texts are based on historical persons, while others belong to the genre of fiction.
A modern edition of the Lüchuang nüshi, published in 2011 by the Jiangsu renmin press 江蘇人民出版社, is called Nüshi 女史 "A History of Women", a term that was actually an ancient designation for a "female historian" (see female officals).
Lüchuang nüshi "Female Historian from the Green Window" is also the style of Wang Yun 王筠, a female playwriter who lived in the late eighteenth century and authored the theatre plays Fanhuameng 繁華夢 and Quanfuji 全福記.


Source: Shanghai tushuguan 上海圖書館 (ed. 1982), Zhongguo congshu zonglu 中國叢書綜錄, vol 1, pp. 58-60. Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe.

綠窗女史 Lüchuang nüshi
(Qing) 秦淮寓客 Qin-Huai yuke (紀振倫 Ji Zhenlun?) (comp.)
書名, length in juan Title Author(s)
Shanghai tushuguan 上海圖書館 (ed. 1982), Zhongguo congshu zonglu 中國叢書綜錄, vol 1, pp. 58-60. Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe.
Chinese literature according to the four-category system

October 31, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail