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 - Dana Stabenow - Goodreads
I think perhaps Buck didn't know exactly what she wanted to write here. You can't have the love interest off stage for 90 percent of the time if you're writing a romance. If you're writing an ... Read full review
Review: Imperial WomanUser Review - Mona Randall - Goodreads
After reading "The Good Earth" I am drawn to read more of Pearl S. Buck's books. This book is about a woman's rise to power and all that she must give up to be in this position. Recommended reading. Read full review