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Title: The textual transmission of poems attributed to Tang women
Author: Ford, Carolyn
ISNI:       0000 0000 5310 1359
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis examines the textual transmission of poetry attributed to women of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) from the eighth to the fourteenth century. Documenting the process of copying and re-copying of poems by a long line of male intermediaries - collectors, compilers, and editors - brings attention to the changes in attributions of authorship over time. Chapter One examines the women poets and poems included in eighth- through tenth-century poetry collections and finds that even during the Tang dynasty, compilers were at times unsure of the original authors of certain popular poems. Chapter Two juxtaposes the apocryphal developments in the biographies and poems attributed to various Tang women against imperial efforts to define the Tang corpus of poetry and prose, and argues that writers of fictional biographies consciously emulated the features of official biography. Chapter Three emphasizes the manner in which Ji Yougong drew upon all prior sources, apocryphal and otherwise, to present his own unique picture of Tang women. In his influential compilation Tangshi jishi (1160s), Ji did not make explicit judgments about the poems selected yet the manner in which he recompiled the mis-readings of earlier sources led future generations of readers to accept a large number of Tang women poets. Chapter Four is devoted to recovered manuscripts from Dunhuang which allegedly preserve poetry by Tang women. The recoveries potentially add to the corpus of poetry by Tang women, but only if the doubts surrounding the excavation, transportation and handling of manuscripts during the Russian expedition of 1914-15 are adequately resolved. Chapter Five studies two collections, Fenmen zuanlei Tanggeshi (1265) and Tang caizizhuan (1304). The lack of evidence to prove or disprove the authenticity of certain poems is compared with post-fourteenth century collections wherein Ming narrative became a source for Tang poetry. The conclusion emphasizes a smaller yet more secure corpus of poems by Tang women and sets out an agenda for research into the later additions (forged or otherwise) to the corpus of Tang women's poetry from the later fourteenth century to the present.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available