Notable Women of Modern Chinaby Margaret E. Burton
During a stay of some months in China in the year of 1909, I had an opportunity to see something of the educational work for women, and to meet several of the educated women of that interesting country. I was greatly impressed, both by the excellent work done by the students in the schools, and by the useful, efficient lives of those who had completed their course of… See more details below
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During a stay of some months in China in the year of 1909, I had an opportunity to see something of the educational work for women, and to meet several of the educated women of that interesting country. I was greatly impressed, both by the excellent work done by the students in the schools, and by the useful, efficient lives of those who had completed their course of study. When I returned to America, and spoke of some of the things which the educated women of China were doing, I found that many people were greatly surprised to learn that Chinese women were capable of such achievements. It occurred to me, therefore, that it might be worth while to put the stories of a few of these women into a form which would make them accessible to the public.
It will be noted that the majority of the women of whose work I have written received a part of their education in America. My reason for selecting these women is not because those whose training has been received wholly in China are not doing equally good work, but because it is difficult to gather definite information in regard to the women whose lives have been spent entirely in their native country. The fact that most of the biographies in this book are of women in professional life is due to the same cause. The great aim of the girls' schools in China is, rightly, to furnish such training as shall prepare their students to be worthy wives and mothers, and the large majority of those who attend the schools find their highest subsequent usefulness in the home. But in China, as in other countries, the life of the woman in the home remains, for the most part, unwritten.
I have therefore told the stories of the women concerning whose work I have been able to obtain definite information, believing that they fairly represent the educated women of China who, wherever their education has been received, and in whatever sphere it is being used, are ably and bravely playing an important part in the moulding of the great new China.
For much of the material for these sketches I am indebted to friends of the women of whom I have written. To all such my hearty thanks are due. For personal reminiscences, letters, and photographs, I am most grateful.
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