The Cultivation of Female Talent

Clara Wing-chung HO*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


This article reviews the attitudes of Qing commentators on several issues concerning women's literacy, education, and upbringing for the period 1650-1800. Although there is much evidence to demonstrate that not all male scholars wanted literate mothers, wives, or daughters, many women in this era did learn to read and write. But there was a strong emphasis on literary learning for moral refinement and the attainment of 'virtue' Female-authored poetry was regarded on the one hand, as indicative of a certain level of intellectual achievement, and on the other hand, as frivolous. In general, the Qing debate on women acquiring talent was part of a wider discussion on the interrelationship of female virtue, talent, and happiness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-223
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995

Scopus Subject Areas

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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