This article looks at two stereotypes of women—the virtuous wife and the shrew—embodied in the mid-Qing tanci, Feng shuangfei, by Cheng Huiying. Zhang Feixiang is a virtuous and generous wife, the perfect match for her orthodox husband, Lingyun. Yet, in a new twist, Feng shuangfei suggests it's the unconventional and unrestrained side of Feixiang that makes her an ideal wife. In contrast to Feixiang, Mu Qionghua fits the stereotype of the shrew in xiaoshuo fiction, but this tanci suggests it's precisely her so-called shrewish qualities that shape her as an ideal match for a libertine husband like Yishao. Through close reading, the author demonstrates how this female writer assesses and reimagines the standards of ideal women established by the classics and their male authors.

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