SNIPPETS OF HISTORY: ‘ Luo Yixiu (1889–1910) was the first wife of the future Chinese communist revolutionary and political leader Mao Zedong ‘

#AceHistoryNews – Oct.20: She came from a family of impoverished Han Chinese landowners near Shaoshan, Hunan, in south
central China.

Most of what is known about their marriage comes from Mao and appears in the 1936 book Red Star Over China by the reporter Edgar Snow. The marriage was arranged by their fathers when Luo was eighteen and Mao was just fourteen. He later said that he was unhappy with the marriage, never consummating it and refusing to live with his wife.

He moved out of the village to continue his studies elsewhere, eventually becoming a founding member of the Communist Party of China. Luo, socially disgraced, lived with Mao’s parents for two years until she died of dysentery. Various biographers have suggested that this marriage affected Mao’s later views, leading him to become a critic of arranged marriage and a vocal feminist.

He would marry three more times, to Yang Kaihui, He Zizhen and Jiang Qing.


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