The Sphere, London, August 8, 1931

The Sphere, London, August 8, 1931

nanshe-of-nina: WOMEN’S HISTORY ☸ LIANG HONGYU…

nanshe-of-nina:

WOMEN’S HISTORYLIANG HONGYU (1102 – 1135)

Liang Hongyu (梁紅玉) was a female general during the time of Song dynasty. The name “Liang Hongyu” is a nickname and her real name is not known. She was simply called Liang in historical sources and the name “Hongyu” is a folkloric name meaning “red jade.”

Her father was himself a general who taught her everything he knew about warfare. Some accounts suggest that she was sold into slavery when her father lost an important battle and that her slavery took the form of being a wrestler, though by the Ming dynasty, this was interpreted (probably wrongly) as prostitution.

At some point, she met Han Shizhong (韓世忠), mostly likely during a banquet and eloped with him. Shortly after, they took part in crushing a rebellion in southern China and personally arrested Fang La (方臘), the leader of this rebellion. After saving enough money to buy her freedom, they married. In 1129, Han and Liang took part in numerous battles against the Jurchens (later known as the Manchu). After their success at restoring Emperor Gaozong to the throne, Liang was honored with the title, “Noble Lady of Hu Guo” (护国夫人).

Liang’s death date is given as 1135, but the circumstances are not clear. After her death, her husband resigned as a general in disgust after another general, Yue Fei (岳飛) was arrested by court officials and then died mysteriously in prison. Han spirited Yue’s family away to safety and spirit the rest of his days living a quiet life of seclusion before dying himself in 1151. He was buried by Liang.

Ruins in Reninghe, Belgium, 1916.  

Ruins in Reninghe, Belgium, 1916.  

The Owl in The Attic and Other Perplexities, James Thurber, 1931…

The Owl in The Attic and Other Perplexities, James Thurber, 1931  

London Road, Thornton Heath, 1930

London Road, Thornton Heath, 1930

The Owl in The Attic and Other Perplexities, James Thurber, 1931…

The Owl in The Attic and Other Perplexities, James Thurber, 1931  

Jan Rose Kasmir confronts the American Nationa…

Jan Rose Kasmir confronts the American National Guard outside the Pentagon during an anti-Vietnam march in Washington on Oct. 21, 1967

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By Magnum photographer Marc Riboud

Training to diffuse mines at night, 1940.

Training to diffuse mines at night, 1940.

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Voters in Peach Tree, Alabama

Voters in Peach Tree, Alabama

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In 1898. Samuel Clemens signed a hotel regis…

In 1898. Samuel Clemens signed a hotel register “S.L. Clemens. Profession: Mark Twain.”