Imperial Woman

Imperial Woman

Book - 1984
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Imperial Woman is the fictionalized biography of the last Empress in China, Ci-xi, who began as a concubine of the Xianfeng Emperor and on his death became the de facto head of the Qing Dynasty until her death in 1908.Buck recreates the life of one of the most intriguing rulers during a time of intense turbulence.Tzu Hsi was born into one of the lowly ranks of the Imperial dynasty. According to custom, she moved to the Forbidden City at the age of seventeen to become one of hundreds of concubines. But her singular beauty and powers of manipulation quickly moved her into the position of Second Consort.Tzu Hsi was feared and hated by many in the court, but adored by the people. The Empress's rise to power (even during her husband's life) parallels the story of China's transition from the ancient to the modern way.
Publisher: Mount Kisco, N.Y. : Moyer Bell Ltd. : Distributed by Rizzoli, c1984
ISBN: 9781559210355
1559210354
Branch Call Number: FICTION BUCK
Characteristics: 376 p. ; 22 cm

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Jul 23, 2015

Although a novel, this book revealed to me more about pre-modern China than any history I'd read, since it dealt with the actual daily life in the country, first the peasantry, then the imperialistic government of an emperor worshiped like diety. I found the story as exciting and compelling as any I've ever encountered. I loved the book, and perhaps even more than the ever-popular, THE GOOD EARTH (which is also marvelous!). It took me inside a world of which I knew nothing, one totally foreign, one I never could have imagined.

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