Carla Anderson's Reviews > Imperial Woman

Imperial Woman by Pearl S. Buck
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May 01, 2010

it was amazing
Read in May, 2010

This is the only book I've read about Tzu Hsi, the last Empress of the Manchu empire of China. I found it totally engrossing. Young daughters of the aristocracy are sent to the palace to be chosen as concubines for the Emperor and are selected by the Empress Mother. The Emperor is tormented by opium addiction and has experienced sexual gratification since childhood. Sakota is chosen as his consort since she's the former consort's younger sister and Tzu Hsi is chosen as second wife. However, Tzu Hsi is ambitious and after presenting the Emperor with a healthy son, who was most likely the son of Tzu Hsi's former betrothed, Jung Lu, Tzu Hsi gradually takes control of the country. Tzu Hsi is a fascinating woman who made some startling choices. She lived a life of opulent privelege and was totally lonely. The book leaves you wondering what kind of woman she really was. Some say this book is highly inaccurate so I will go on to read others. Politcal intrique and betrayal run rampant.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Karen good . . . just started this today and am very much enjoying.


Carla Anderson It was the perfect enthralling read while I sat hours poolside in Puerta Vallarta. Glad you're having the same response.


message 3: by Margaret (new)

Margaret Carla darling...I read Empress by Shan SA - the story of Empress Wu, (or Heavenlight) China's first and only female emperor. who emerged in the 7th century during the great Tang Dynasty and ushered in a golden age. - not your gal - but sounds like much of the same stuff going on - opium addiction - weird sex stuff - but she was an amazing woman and apparently this author has uncovered unknown information... you may be interested if you want to go back into the dynastys...I don't think I ever reported on it - because of all the dysfunction ...love you! Margaret


Carla Anderson Hey Margaret. Thanks for the suggestion. I do want to read more about the dynasties. I find it fascinating even admidst the dysfunction. Wonder what that reveals about me. HA!


Fulya İçöz Sterling Seagrave's Dragon Lady draws a more realistic portrait of Cixi.


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