Marriage and Intimacy in Qing China
- PUBLISHED: July 2021
- SUBJECT LISTING: Asian Studies / China, History, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 264 Pages, 6 x 9 in, 9 b&w illus.
- ISBN: 9780295749112
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
Although commonly associated with patriarchal oppression, arranged marriages have adapted over the centuries to changing cultural norms and the lived experiences of men and women. In Arranged Companions, historian Weijing Lu chronicles how marital behaviors during the early and High Qing (mid-seventeenth through mid-nineteenth centuries) were informed by rich and complex traditions and mediated by the historical conditions of the period, during which marital affection was celebrated as a basic ingredient of an ideal marriage.
Lu finds public representation and private communication of marital affection in personal records, including poetry, biographies, letters, and memoirs. During this unique historical moment, ideals of marital companionship and love came to fruition while social changes also created new tensions for couples and extended families. Offering surprising revelations about conjugal relations during this time of change, Arranged Companions raises provocative questions about the cultural construction of intimacy and the meaning of a “happy marriage.”
Authors & Contributors
Weijing Lu is associate professor of history at the University of California, San Diego, and author of True to Her Word: The Faithful Maiden Cult in Late Imperial China.
Presenting a rich and nuanced picture, this is a pioneering study on a very important topic and should appeal to scholars of Chinese history, Chinese literature, women’s history, and gender studies.- Martin W. Huang, University of California, Irvine
The work of a talented historian, Arranged Companions is populated by real people with their foibles, anger, and tender love—and as such affords enormous reading pleasure and rare historical insights into the workings of the Chinese family.- Dorothy Ko, author of The Social Life of Inkstones: Artisans and Scholars in Early Qing China