Waterstones Book of the Month - Non-Fiction

Waterstones Non-Fiction Book of the Month

Empress Dowager Cixi by Jung Chang

Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China by Jung Chang

A revisionist history of China's first 'modern' monarch - Chang unravels the myth of Cixi as bloodthirsty despot.

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.

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