This important study provides the only comprehensive survey of Chinese women during the early medieval period of disunion, which lasted from the fall of the Eastern Han dynasty in 220 AD to the reunification of China by the Sui dynasty in 581 AD, also known as the Six Dynasties. Bret Hinsch offers rich descriptions of the most important aspects of female life in this era, including family and marriage, motherhood, political power, work, inheritance, education, and religious roles. He traces women's lived experiences as well as the emotional life and the ideals they pursued. Building on the best Western and Japanese scholarship, Hinsch also draws heavily on Chinese primary sources and scholarship, most of which is unknown outside China. As the first study in English about women in the early medieval era, this groundbreaking book will open a new window into Chinese history for Western readers.
Bret Hinsch is professor of history at Fo Guang University, Yilan, Taiwan. He is the author of Women in Ancient China, Women in Early Imperial China, Women in Imperial China, Masculinities in Chinese History, and The Rise of Tea Culture in China.