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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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - karen.collins - LibraryThing
This is my favorite of all time! I think I really enjoy the historical aspect of the book tied in with enough detail about the characters to make it come to life. I love the boldness of the Last Empress. She was a strong woman in a day and culture that did not allow it. Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Smiler69 - LibraryThing
Pearl S. Buck's fictionalized account of the last Empress of China (1861-1908), who, first known as Orchid, went from being chosen at the age of seventeen to be one of hundreds of Imperial concubines ... Read full review