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Imperial Woman (Oriental Novels of Pearl S. Buck) Paperback – 27 Jun 1991

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Moyer Bell Ltd ,U.S.; New Ed edition (27 Jun. 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559210354
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559210355
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 14 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 537,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

This is the story of the last Empress of China.


Customer Reviews

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By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Jun. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the story of Tzu Hsi, who ruled as regent and Empress of China from 1861-1908, effectively the end of the empire, which collapsed just 3 years after her death. For the major part of her reign, Tzu Hsi tried to hold back the tide of progress being forced on her by the various Western powers as they jostled to gain a foothold in this vast country.

Pearl S Buck, as the short biography at the end of this new Kindle edition reveals, was the daughter of missionaries and lived in China for many years as both child and adult. Born in 1892, she would undoubtedly have been old enough to remember the end of Tzu Hsi's reign and would have had first-hand experience of being a child of foreign Christians during the Boxer Rebellion at the turn of the century.

Tzu Hsi is portrayed here as a beautiful, ambitious tyrant, scheming to become and then remain Empress. First as concubine to a weak Emperor and then as regent for her son, she uses her beauty and charm to manipulate those around her; but when beauty and charm fail, she is content to use torture, beheading and 'slicing' to get her own way, with a calm ruthlessness that never prevents her from ensuring that she is well-perfumed and beautifully dressed. Buck lets us see her tyrannous side growing as she faces threats from domestic rebels, plotting courtiers and foreign armies. But we are also shown her loneliness and isolation, and the personal sacrifices she has to make to hold her position in a society where women are considered inferior and unsuited to rule.

Buck uses a stylised form of prose suggesting perhaps a translation of the formal language of the court. Whether this tone is authentic, I don't know, but I'm afraid I found it intensely irritating after a while.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Feared and hated, Tzu Hsi (Cixi) was the last Empress of China, a decadent woman known for her insatiable desire for power, greed, and murderous shrewdness. Imperial Woman is a detailed, fictionalized accounting of her life. Written with great historical detail and abounding emotion, this epic novel brings to life not only the world of the Qing dynasty, but the hardships and intrigues of the Chinese royal court within the Forbidden City. Beautifully written with a compelling voice, it is a vivid portrayal of this much-maligned woman.

If you've never read one of Pearl S Buck's novels, then you are in for a rare, exotic treat, a journey like you've never before taken. It is no wonder that she is one of the world's most beloved authors, her books classics. This is definitely a must read book, one that will linger in your memory for years to come, and one that will teach you about a period in history well worth learning about.
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Format: Paperback
THE STORY OF AN ORDINARY WOMAN WHO USES HER EXTRAORDINARY TALENTS TO INFLUENCE HISTORY.THIS BOOK IS AN INTERWEAVING OF FACT AND FICTION, SUBMISSION AND REBELLION, WEAKNESSES AND POWER. VERY DESCRIPTIVE, RICH IN DETAILS OF AN ERA LONG GONE. THE HIDDEN STRUGGLES IN THE IMPERIAL CITY WILL KEEP YOU ABSORBED TILL THE END.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i last read pearl s.buck books over 40 years ago. i was delighted to find i could get them on amazon and sent away for my favourite
"imperial woman". i was half expecting to be a bit disappointed. but no, it was as interesting as i remembered and a real page turner.
i have read other books about this empress and this is definitely the best. a big thumbs up for this book. highly recommended.
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