Empress Dowager Cixi (eBook): The Concubine Who Launched Modern China

by Jung Chang

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From the bestselling author of Wild Swans and Mao: The Unknown Story

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 andalso 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.

Packed with drama, fast-paced and gripping, it is both a panoramic depiction of the birth of modern China and an intimate portrait of a woman: as the concubine to a monarch, as the absolute ruler of a third of the world's population, and as a unique stateswoman.

'Powerful' Simon Sebag Montefiore

'Truly authoritative' New York Times

'Wonderful' Sunday Times

Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Biography Prize

Product details

Published
26/09/2013

Publisher
Vintage Digital

ISBN
9781448191420


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