The Burden of Female Talent: The Poet Li Qingzhao and Her History in China (Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph) (Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series) Hardcover – 7 Mar 2014
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The first work of this kind in any language, The Burden of Female Talent is both grand synthesis and original scholarship, with a clear style that makes a complex story easy to follow. --Eva Shan Chou, Times Higher Education, 20 February 2014
About the Author
Ronald C. Egan is Professor of Sinology in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Stanford University.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Given the nature of the topic, there could have been a better theoretical framework to tie the book together neatly. It would have been a little bit more sophisticated, though the current work is already very good. The book starts off with a macro, historical view of writing women in the Song Dynasty, then the micro focus on Li Qingzhao, her acceptance and status within the Song literary world. The author then moves on to cover Li's acceptance by later generations, and the changes that have taken place in the scholarship surrounding her body, physically and metaphorically, of works. My favorite chapter is the one focusing on Li's Afterword, I found the observation of it being written as a warning to other collectors more refreshing than the traditional view of a work reminiscing her once happy marriage.
The revelation that Zhao Mingcheng had offspring from local gazetteers definitely is a new direction in potential research, but has yet to shine more light on the evidence and where it may lead to. Though given the customs of the time and the political/social status of the Zhao family, the presence of concubine(s) was definitely a likely scenario.
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