Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Women's Literature
(2,168 words)

Women writers, or more specifically women who wrote, in imperial times were often either members of elite gentry households or courtesans connected with men in these households, although some writing by nuns and an occasional female official exists. There are records of poetry collections and some collections of prose writing or letters penned by women, and work started by a man but finished by his wife at his death, but rarely was a woman's work published by a commercial press. Rather, women's writing generally came out directly from the family and with the authorization and active…

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Larson, Wendy, “Women's Literature”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 03 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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