Royal wet nurses in seventh- A nd early eighth-century China: Historiographical evaluation and narrative construction

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The women who served as wet nurses to powerful and in some cases notorious members of the Tang royal family appear in written materials in various capacities in relation to prominent historical actors. An analysis of historical narratives involving these women indicates that their portrayals were strongly influenced by the historian's mode of moral assessment, in particular, the historical judgment meted out upon their controversial charges. The manipulation in historical narrative of royal wet nurses thus elucidates a fascinating example of the operation of "praise and blame" in traditional historiography. Wet nurses are used as narrative pawns to emphasize the historical judgment of their famous former charges and become a vehicle or mouthpiece for historical evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-204
Number of pages7
JournalNAN NU
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Empress Wei
  • historiography
  • Taiping Princess
  • Tang dynasty
  • wet nurses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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