Empress Dowager Cixi

Author: Jung Chang

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1448191424

Category: History

Page: 528

View: 6780


Discover the extraordinary story of the woman who brought China into the modern age, from the bestselling author of Wild Swans In this groundbreaking biography, Jung Chang vividly describes how Empress Dowager Cixi – the most important woman in Chinese history – brought a medieval empire into the modern age. Under her, the ancient country attained virtually all the attributes of a modern state and it was she who abolished gruesome punishments like ‘death by a thousand cuts’ and put an end to foot-binding. Jung Chang comprehensively overturns the conventional view of Cixi as a diehard conservative and cruel despot and also takes the reader into the depths of her splendid Summer Palace and the harem of Beijing’s Forbidden City, where she lived surrounded by eunuchs – with one of whom she fell in love, with tragic consequences. Packed with drama, fast-paced and gripping, it is both a panoramic depiction of the birth of modern China and an intimate portrait of a woman: as the concubine to a monarch, as the absolute ruler of a third of the world’s population, and as a unique stateswoman. ‘Powerful’ Simon Sebag Montefiore ‘Truly authoritative’ New York Times ‘Wonderful’ Sunday Times **Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Biography Prize**

Empress Dowager Cixi

Author: X. L. Woo

Publisher: Algora Publishing

ISBN: 0875861660

Category: History

Page: 240

View: 9304


In all the history of China, only two women ever conquered and held the heights of power. Both enjoyed long reigns characterized by ruthless intrigue; they maintained an iron grip at the center while the vast country was torn by rebellions and caught up i.

Empress Dowager Cixi

Author: X. L. Woo

Publisher: Algora Publishing

ISBN: 1892941880

Category: History

Page: 232

View: 2147


In all the history of China, only two women ever conquered and held the heights of power. Both enjoyed long reigns characterized by ruthless intrigue; they maintained an iron grip at the center while the vast country was torn by rebellions and caught up in foreign wars. Through their policy decisions as well as their personal foibles, both left a deep imprint in history and in the minds of the Chinese people, fueling literature and legend. Fighting to maintain her power base, Empress Cixi struggled with the need to modernize the painfully backward empire she had inherited while honoring age-old traditions. She studied previous rulers' failures and achievements, and especially followed the example of another Chinese woman leader, Wu-Hou, who had elevated herself from concubine to empress some 1200 years earlier.

Imperial Masquerade

Author: Grant Hayter-Menzies

Publisher: Hong Kong University Press

ISBN: 9789622098817

Category: Social Science

Page: 444

View: 9986


"Imperial Masquerade: The Legend of Princess Der Ling, the first biography of one of the twentieth century's most intriguing cross-cultural personalities, traces not only the life of Princess Der Ling, in all its various transformations, but offers a fresh look at the woman she lionized and, ultimately, betrayed - the Empress Dowager Cixi, to whom, like Der Ling, many legends have been affixed over the past century. The book also depicts the changing worlds of Paris, Tokyo and the other international stages of Der Ling's development as woman and as mystery, and deals with the many teachers who made her who she was." --Book Jacket.

History of Customs in the Qing Dynasty

Author: Li Shi

Publisher: DeepLogic

ISBN: N.A

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 8458


The book is the volume of “History of Customs in the Qing Dynasty” among a series of books of “Deep into China Histories”. The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC) and the Bamboo Annals (296 BC) describe a Xia dynasty (c. 2070–1600 BC) before the Shang, but no writing is known from the period The Shang ruled in the Yellow River valley, which is commonly held to be the cradle of Chinese civilization. However, Neolithic civilizations originated at various cultural centers along both the Yellow River and Yangtze River. These Yellow River and Yangtze civilizations arose millennia before the Shang. With thousands of years of continuous history, China is one of the world's oldest civilizations, and is regarded as one of the cradles of civilization.The Zhou dynasty (1046–256 BC) supplanted the Shang and introduced the concept of the Mandate of Heaven to justify their rule. The central Zhou government began to weaken due to external and internal pressures in the 8th century BC, and the country eventually splintered into smaller states during the Spring and Autumn period. These states became independent and warred with one another in the following Warring States period. Much of traditional Chinese culture, literature and philosophy first developed during those troubled times.In 221 BC Qin Shi Huang conquered the various warring states and created for himself the title of Huangdi or "emperor" of the Qin, marking the beginning of imperial China. However, the oppressive government fell soon after his death, and was supplanted by the longer-lived Han dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). Successive dynasties developed bureaucratic systems that enabled the emperor to control vast territories directly. In the 21 centuries from 206 BC until AD 1912, routine administrative tasks were handled by a special elite of scholar-officials. Young men, well-versed in calligraphy, history, literature, and philosophy, were carefully selected through difficult government examinations. China's last dynasty was the Qing (1644–1912), which was replaced by the Republic of China in 1912, and in the mainland by the People's Republic of China in 1949.Chinese history has alternated between periods of political unity and peace, and periods of war and failed statehood – the most recent being the Chinese Civil War (1927–1949). China was occasionally dominated by steppe peoples, most of whom were eventually assimilated into the Han Chinese culture and population. Between eras of multiple kingdoms and warlordism, Chinese dynasties have ruled parts or all of China; in some eras control stretched as far as Xinjiang and Tibet, as at present. Traditional culture, and influences from other parts of Asia and the Western world (carried by waves of immigration, cultural assimilation, expansion, and foreign contact), form the basis of the modern culture of China.