REVIEWS WU Yining Gu Jichen Zhongguo houfei zhidu yanjiu (Tang Song juan) (The study of the Chinese empress and imperial concubines system [Tang and Song Dynasties]). Shanghai: Huadong Ligong daxue chubanshe, 1995. 408 pp. RMB $28. ISBN 7-5628-0602-0. Zhongguo hoifei zhidu yanjiu is the first outcome of Wu and Gu's long- time ambition to present a thorough study of the system of Chinese empresses and imperial concubines, which started in primitive times and reached its full development in the imperial era. The authors point out that the historical record on Chinese empresses and impe- rial concubines, compared with that of emperors, is extremely poor. This book, which claims to be the first academic work on the subject, seeks to fill that gap. The material is organized under twenty-two separate topics, such as "Emperors' taking of empresses," "The silk-worm ritual for em- presses and imperial concubines," "Empresses and imperial concu- bines and Buddhism," "Empresses' interference in politics," and so forth. The validity of this particular format aside, the authors supply us, from various angles, with a wealth of information about the empress and imperial concubine system. The book has two main strengths. First, the authors stress the links between
NAN NÜ – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1999
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