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 - Alison - Goodreads
I was so drawn in to the story and life within the Imperial Palace that I was quite at a loss when the book finished. I loved my daily visits to the Empress. Buck's beautiful descriptions of the robes ... Read full review
Review: Imperial WomanUser Review - Giuli Tegon - Goodreads
The first time I read "Imperial Woman" I was fifteen years old; to cut a long story short, I lost it and ten years later I found myself looking for this book everywhere because I remembered I liked it ... Read full review