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Disgraceful MattersThe Politics of Chastity in Eighteenth-Century China$
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Janet Theiss

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520240339

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520240339.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

Prologue: Male Impropriety and Female Outrage Lead to a Tragic End

Prologue: Male Impropriety and Female Outrage Lead to a Tragic End

(p.166) (p.167) Prologue: Male Impropriety and Female Outrage Lead to a Tragic End
Disgraceful Matters

Janet M. Theiss

University of California Press

Confronted with a homicide that resulted from an unwanted proposition in 1753, Liu Shaobin, the magistrate of Taiyuan County, Shanxi, was vexed by what he saw as an utterly useless loss of innocent life over a matter of face. The facts of the case were clear and were corroborated fully by the victim Ren Shi, her mother-in-law and brother-in-law, the defendant, members of his family, and neighbors. What bothered Magistrate Liu was that the facts of the case added up not to a clear-cut tale of chastity impugned and requited but to a tragedy of poor judgment, misunderstanding, and blind fury, and he was none too sympathetic to any of the participants.

Keywords:   Liu Shaobin, Tiyaun County, homicide, chastity, Ren Shi

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