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Traditions of Exemplary Women: Liu Xiang's Lienü Zhuan

This project focuses on the Lienü zhuan (Categorized Biographies of Women) of Liu Xiang (77-6 B.C.), the earliest extant book in the Chinese tradition solely devoted to the moral education of women. The book consists of biographical accounts of female role models in early China and became the standard textbook for women’s education for the next two millennia. The Lienü zhuan offers important insights into the culture, politics, and social structure of early China, as well as into the representation of women in various phases of China’s history. This digital archive serves as a publicly accessible tool for scholarly exploration of early woodblock editions of the Lienü zhuan held by the National Library of China, as well as other early Chinese sources offered here in Chinese and English translation. Anne Behnke Kinney’s complete translation of the Lienü zhuan is now available through Columbia University Press (2014): Exemplary Women of Early China: The Lienü zhuan of Liu Xiang.

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