The Last Empress Paperback – 2 Apr 2007
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`Tzu Hsi emerges as a canny political leader, and she is a vivid and entertaining character - this is history as it plays upon the emotions. Empires crumble, hearts are broken' -- The Times
`A wild, passionate, fearless American writer' -- New York Times
`Like all good novelists, she implies as much as she says, and her
characterisation is subtle and worldly-wise'
-- Glasgow Herald
About the Author
Anchee Min was born in Shanghai in 1957. At seventeen she was sent to a labour collective, where a talent scout for Madame Mao's Shanghai Film Studio recruited her to work as a movie actress. She moved to the United States in 1984. Her memoir, Red Azalea, was an international bestseller with rights sold in twenty countries. Her novels, Becoming Madame Mao, Katherine, Wild Ginger and Empress Orchid were published to wonderful reviews and impressive foreign sales.
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Top Customer Reviews
I wasn't even aware that Anchee Min was even working on a second and final instalment of Tz'u-Hsi's life until i was browsing the isles of WHSmiths and came across "The last empress".
I quickly ordered the book from Amazon (much cheeper) and waited impatiently for its arrival.
As soon as "The last empress" arrived I dives straight in and was not dissapointed!
Anchee Min has created another masterpiece which is a must for anybody interested in Tz'u-Hsi, the Manchu dynasty, China or a great story made all the more amazing because it's a true story.
"The last empress" encompasses the later stages of Tz'u-Hsi's life and what are esentially the last years of the Ch'ing (Manchu) dynasty's rule in China.
In the west, the east and even in China itself Tz'u-Hsi has been demonised as "the dragon lady" an evil despot desperate to keep power and China in her hands.
It's wonderfull that Anchee Min has dared to think outside the box and portray Tz'u-Hsi as what she really was, the daughter of an impoverished and disgraced provincial governer who entered the forbidden city as a concubine and left in death as Empress Dowager.
All through the book we see how Tz'u-Hsi fought to save China from the "civilised" west and Japan who systematicaly "raped" China and forced unfair and embarassing treaty after treaty first on Tz'u-Hsi's husband, then her son and finally her nephew (and addopted son).
It disgusted me how the west and Japan took advantage ofChina which didn't want to fight and when it came to the point that they had to were no match for the Iron ships and guns of the west and Japan.Read more ›
This story takes starts from and shows the relationships Orchid builds with her Nephew and her exceptence of him as a son. Her regrets of Tung Chih (her only son who dies) and how this changes the way she treats her nephew. It shows the effects of the relationships she looses in the past be it her husband, her son, her mother, her sister, other concubines, her precious Eunch and Nuharoo (the joint Empress). The bond that she shared with her Eunch is special to her and broken when he was killed and she finds the person and forgives the person as she learns to understand why people do things. It is Empress Orchid way of changing and adapting to changes that have occured in the past and the she deals with the future. It is highly influenced by the history of China protrays the life of Empress Wu in a positive way.
I liked this book and give 5 starts as it is a continuation and better then most continued books. Through this book i am able to learn more about the Chinese history. If you like the history of china then you will like this too. It is a journey well worth it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I can't wait to start reading this book. Arrived in excellent conditionPublished 2 months ago by Barbara
Beautiful story but you must read the first book Empress Orchid!Published 8 months ago by Shelley Tamsin Melling
A little disappointing after reading the preceding page-turner 'The Empress Orchid'. The Last Empress is not very interesting.Published 11 months ago by Dagmar
This is not to be recommended, this is full of mistakes as to the real life of the life of the Empress, and the facts are out of order, and some have no basis in fact.Published 12 months ago by JONATHAN