Mao Qiling 毛奇齡 (1623–1713) was a celebrated poet, scholar, and official whose life bridged the transition from Ming to Qing. A lesser-known aspect of his life was his interest in and work with women writers, especially the group associated with Shang Jinglan 商景蘭 (1605–1680). In the mid-1670s, Xu Zhaohua 徐昭華 (17th–18th cent.), the daughter of Shang's younger sister Shang Jinghui 商景徽 (17th cent.), became Mao's disciple, one of the most famous. This article sets the Mao-Xu relationship in the context of Mao's other work with women and brings out its special features. After the Mao-Xu relationship became well known, most talented women who sought instruction still chose to work with female teachers, but some pursued the new alternative of working with a talented man.

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