Last year I wrote the introduction for this classic Chinese text written by Ban Zhao, China’s first female historian. Camphor Press reprinted the book and asked me to write the introduction because I’d quoted from Instructions for Chinese Women and Girls in my memoir.
I’d found this book on Amazon several years ago and thought Ban Zhao’s advice mirrored some of my behavior in my first marriage. Camphor Press initially published their rerelease of Instructions as an ebook, but just recently introduced a print version.
It’s a small book and a quick read, now available on Amazon or on Camphor’s website. While I wrote the introduction, I learned about Esther Jerman, the Christian missionary who translated Ban Zhao’s classic into English. Her life paralleled Ban Zhao’s in a couple ways: both were independent, educated women ahead of their time and both died at the age of 70.
Some of Ban Zhao’s advice might seem laughable and outdated, but she wrote it a good 500 years before Confucius was born. So the fact that a woman was a scholar was a huge feat back then.
This book makes for a fun gift for the China scholar in your life or anyone who is interested in history or feminism.