The Last Empress
Set in the twilight days of Imperial China, The Last Empress continues the tale begun in Empress Orchid: the life of Tzu Hsi, best known to Western histories as a manipulating, murderous “Dragon Lady.” But the real Tzu Hsi was a passionate and intelligent woman trapped in a system that allowed no one – man or woman – freedom. Telling her own story, Tzu Hsi reveals herself as a brilliant politician, balancing warring factions and attempting to hold strong against the foreign powers seeking China as a prize.
The Last Empress tells of the poignant life of a woman swept up in the massive changes of the late 1800s; a dedicated ruler who nevertheless knows herself doomed to fail in her increasingly desperate attempts to keep a dying way of life alive. A fascinating book, granting us a window into a past we can barely imagine, and making a tumultuous time period come to vivid life.