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.
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Review: Imperial WomanUser Review - Sara - Goodreads
Another fabulous and extremely well researched book by Pearl S. Buck. She captures the character, the time, the history, the intrigue, the glamor, and the uncertainty of the time in which Tzu Hsi ... Read full review
Review: Imperial WomanUser Review - Julie - Goodreads
I've read several historical fiction books about the life of Cixi, the last empress of China. I'd say this is the best. She is a controversial figure and Pearl Buck was more sympathetic towards her ... Read full review