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Shanghai Love: Courtesans, Intellectuals, and Entertainment Culture, 1850-1910

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9780295985671
Author(s): Catherine Vance Yeh
Format: Hardcover
Year: 2006
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Dimensions: 187 x 258 x 32 (w x l x h)
Pages: 430

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In this fascinating book, Catherine Yeh explores the Shanghai entertainment world at the close of the Qing dynasty. Established in the 1850s outside the old walled city, the Shanghai Foreign Settlements were administered by Westerners and so were not subject to the strict authority of the Chinese government. At the centre of the dynamic new culture that emerged was the courtesan, whose flamboyant public lifestyle and conspicuous consumption of modern goods set a style that was emulated by other women as they emerged from the 'inner quarters' of traditional Chinese society. Many Chinese visitors and sojourners were drawn to the Foreign Settlements. Men of letters seeking a living outside of the government bureaucracy found work in the Settlements' burgeoning print industry and formed the new class of urban intellectuals. Courtesans fled from oppressive treatment and the turmoil of uprisings elsewhere in China and found unprecedented freedom in Shanghai to redefine themselves and their profession. As the entertainment industry developed, publications sprang up to report on and promote it.Journalists and courtesans found that their interests increasingly coincided, and the Settlements became a cosmopolitan playground.
Ritualized role-play based on novels such as Dream of the Red Chamber elevated the status of courtesan entertainment and led to culturally rich interactions be
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