326 China Review International: Vol. 16, No. 3, 2009 Miranda Brown. The Politics of Mourning in Early China. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2007. 220 pp. Hardcover $75.00, isbn 978-0-7914-7157-9. Paperback $23.95, isbn 978-0-7914-7158-6. Miranda Brown has produced a tidy study of the gendered nature of private and public space as expressed through mourning ritual during the Eastern Han period (25220 c.e.). Her study is primarily limited to the political dimensions of memorial texts inscribed on stone stelae but avoids discussion of their religious or cultic implications (as found, for instance, in Mark Lewis's Construction of Space in Early China [Albany: State University of New York, 2006], or in earlier works by Kenneth Brashier). Yet Brown's detailed examination of the entire corpus of stone inscriptions, not just key examples of local urban or mountain cults, is the first major study to show the importance of the worship of mothers in late Han memorial culture. In Brown's reading, private space was domestic and was represented by the intimacy of mothers and sons. Public space was the sphere of hierarchical political relations that would engage the father, requiring loyalties that may supersede those of private space. Intimacy (qin),
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jan 6, 2009
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