- Title: The Last Empress
- Author: Anchee Min
- ISBN: 9780618531462
- Page: 457
- Format: Hardcover
The last decades of the nineteenth century were a violent period in China s history marked by humiliating foreign incursions and domestic rebellion, ultimately ending in the demise of the Ch ing dynasty The only constant during this tumultuous time was the power wielded by one person, the resilient, ever resourceful Tzu Hsi, Lady Yehonala or Empress Orchid, as readersThe last decades of the nineteenth century were a violent period in China s history marked by humiliating foreign incursions and domestic rebellion, ultimately ending in the demise of the Ch ing dynasty The only constant during this tumultuous time was the power wielded by one person, the resilient, ever resourceful Tzu Hsi, Lady Yehonala or Empress Orchid, as readers came to know her in Anchee Min s critically acclaimed novel covering the first part of her life.The Last Empress is the story of Orchid s dramatic transition from a strong willed, instinctive young woman to a wise and politically savvy leader who ruled China for than four decades Moving from the intimacy of the concubine quarters into the spotlight of the world stage, Orchid must face not only the perilous condition of her empire but also a series of devastating personal losses, as first her son and then her adopted son succumb to early death Yearning only to step aside, and yet growing constantly into her role, only she allied with the progressives, but loyal to the conservative Manchu clan of her dynasty can hold the nation s rival factions together.Anchee Min offers a powerful revisionist portrait based on extensive research of one of the most important figures in Chinese history Viciously maligned by the western press of the time as the Dragon Lady, a manipulative, blood thirsty woman who held onto power at all costs, the woman Min gives us is a compelling, very human leader who assumed power reluctantly, and who sacrificed all she had to protect those she loved and an empire that was doomed to die.
Recent Comments "The Last Empress"
Knjiga "Carica" autorke Šan Sa je zakon za ovaj roman Naravno, ima veze i loš prevod :(
Definitely not as good as Empress Orchid. There were about 100 pages in the middle that I was really stuggling to get through.I enjoyed the first part and last parts a lot though. Ended up being glad I finished it.In Empress Orchid they really got into who she was and why. This book seemed so busy trying to make it through the rest of her life that it wasn't as well developed. Perhaps she should have divided into 2 booksI still found it a fascinating and educational look at who the last Empress [...]
Bullet Review:So bittersweet at the end. The biggest problem with this though was how hurried and rushed it felt in places. When Min was given the time to flesh out a scene and spend time in it, THAT was pure gold.Full Review:Empress Orchid (Empress Dowager Cixi) has lost her beloved husband, the Emperor Hsien Feng. Together with Empress Nuharoo, she raises their son, Tung Chih to be Emperor. But there are trials and struggles, internal and external, not to mention a media and Western world that [...]
Un pic mai istorica decat Imparateasa Orhidee, Ultima imparateasa e mai apasatoare. Mor multe personaje, iar greutatile,durerea, piedicile si razboaiele cu care se confrunta imparateasa de-a lungul regentei sale sunt greu de indurat si pentru cititor, daramite pentru ea. mi-a placut si cartea asta, dar parca mai mult prima. N-am citit multe despre ultima imparateasa a Chinei, Tzu-Hsi, dar am citit ca a fost nemiloasa, sangeroasa, neinduplecata etc. Anchee Min, prin aceste doua carti, ii da un dr [...]
I regret not being able to read Empress Orchid by Anchee Min before reading The Last Empress. I assume Empress Orchid reveals Orchid's childhood and rise to the throne. Reading the books in sequence would have filled in some of the gaps, nevertheless, Min supplies the necessary information to understand the Empress's life.In my youth, I gobbled up books about English and some French aristocracy. Whether it was romances, historical fiction or biographies made little difference. However, the heavy [...]
“I had to be strong for my son. Although Tung Chih, who was seven, had been Emperor for two years, since ascending the throne in 1861, his regime had been chaotic.”The follow-up to her acclaimed Empress Orchid, Anchee Min continues to tell the story of real-life Empress Tzu Hsi, who governs China on behalf of her son in the midst of huge changes in the world order. China, which had always been resistant to change, was powerless as Japan took over parts of her provinces, while France and Russ [...]
At times, I found myself getting tried of the book, and then there would be this wonderful passage of sheer poetry.This continues the story of Orchid. At times, it feels like Anchee Min is going down a checklist, but I did like the use of perspective as well as whether or not to trust the voice. It does capture the confusion of the time as well as time and place. Worth reading if you have read the first volume.
I'm not going to make it through 50 pages. First of all, as Jill noted in her review, Min basically takes what's written in the history books, puts quotes around it, and calls it dialogue, with occasional brief references to how it makes the empress feel. I felt this was true of Empress Orchid as well, and I don't have the patience to plow through another book like that. Second, as other reviewers noted, this book is extremely rushed, with each chapter picking up a few years after the previous [...]
I thought this book was absolutetly fascinating. The first book in the series Empress Orchid was an amazing book too. Detailing China's history, The Last Empress not only focuses on the Empress and her struggles, but also the struggle of China to merge its cultural past with the "western" technologies and advancements that are needed to enable China to compete in the world. This book made me want to take a Chinese history class. In both books by Anchee Min, I was amazed at the great lengths she [...]
The Last Empress, sequel to Empress Orchid, is the last book in the duology dedicated to Tzu Hsi, who was, as the title suggests, the last empress of China.I really enjoyed the first book, and this second one didn't disappoint either. Tzu Hsi, or Orchid, is a truly memorable character, and the story is still gripping, even if there were some parts I found a little heavy or too slow. Another thing I didn't exactly like was the fact that, especially at the beginning, the author jumps a lot in the [...]
Anchee Min is one of my favourite authors, and Empress Orchid is one of my favorite books, but this sequel seems to delve a little more into Empress Cixi's evil reputation, making the main character more and more unlikeable. She's still an engaging protagonist, but it did cut into my enjoyment of the book compared to the first. With Cixi's power temporarily solidified, The Last Empress has a distinctly different feel than the original story in Empress Orchid (which was more about learning the ro [...]
Arduous reading but fascinating portrayal of Empress Tzu Hsi, Orchid, the concubine who bore the Emperor's son and heir to the throne. She was the power behind the Ch'ing dynasty for forty years as she outlived her son and her adopted son, both of whom were weak and ineffective rulers. I got interested in this woman as her portrait is on display at VMFA's amazing exhibit of "The Forbidden City," and I wanted to learn more about her. This revisionist historical novel doesn't exactly flow, and the [...]
I was intrigued by this book, due to the fascinating Chinese culture I know nothing of. Now I know less. The book is simple sequence of facts with an distortion in favor of emotional state of the main character. Which is quite doubtful and unconvincing. And boring. And pointless. And boring. And boring.
This review will have spoilers if you haven't read the first book.The first book Empress Orchid is about how a young village girl of 17 called Orchid becomes the Empress of China. The book ends with her husband’s death and with her taking the reins of the kingdom. The next book ‘The last Empress’ is about her rule as an Empress.It was the time when the foreign powers like Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and Russia were trying to rip china to pieces and trying to esta [...]
In terms of writing quality, Anchee Min is consistent here with this book’s prequel; Empress Orchid. Min writes with a wonderful ease and flow, combining imaginative description with show over tell. The Last Empress differs from Empress Orchid in construction of plot and pacing however. Whilst Empress Orchid covered a handful of years of the eponymous character’s life, The Last Empress covers several decades. This means the pacing is considerably different. Empress Orchid had the leisure to [...]
Our book club read the first of these two books ("Empress Orchid" by Anchee Min) and I just had to know the rest of the story, so I sought out "The Last Empress." I'm glad I did, especially after I did some research upon finishing this book. Anchee Min did an amazing job of taking the facts of history (the positive and inaccurate) regarding this time in Chinese history, and intertwined it into a story that made it more human and real than any history book or lecture.Every mother wishes the best [...]
I thought perhaps this sequel to Empress Orchid might prove as vividly stunning but I was dismayed. This sequel focuses largely on Empress Ci Xi's later life as a ruling regent for two different Emperors but seems to continually regurgitate historical facts and processes towards the second half of the book. While the first half was not as disappointing, giving an account of how Empress Ci Xi tries hard to reconcile with her son, the second half merely uses the last few wars of the Qing Dynasty t [...]
3.25 starsYou know what I learnt from the book? That the world is a big, big place. I have grown up reading and learning Indian history. From Indus Valley civilization to independence from the British, my country felt so Encompassing. So overwhelming. Obviously I was aware about little things from the world history too, world wars, French Revolution, American civil war, Vietnam war, Nazism in Germany and then few other things. You know, the kind of things you can't avoid. China is a neighbour we [...]
Интересен е опитът да се създаде образ на Цъси, напълно противоположен на историографската норма, при това чрез фикционален автобиографичен разказ. Анчи Мин и разказвачката ѝ Цъси изобщо не са убедителни (имах чувството, че историческите митове биват последователно опров [...]
" a powerful revisionist portrait [fictionalized account of a real historical person] of Tsu Hsi, Lady Yehonala, or Empress Orchid, who ruled China for more than 40 years in the late 1800's / early 1900's.""The Dragon Lady" was portrayed in the Western press as a manipulative, blood-thirsty, ruthless woman who held on to power at all costs."The woman Anchee Min portrays gives us a compelling, very human leader who assumed power reluctantly and sacrificed all she had to protect those she loved a [...]
I was oscillating between 3 and 4 stars. the book is easy to read, though some descriptions seem like neverending. interesting to learn more about the lives in the forbidden city, concubines, eunucs. it is the first book I read of this kind. The plot is quite simple and easy to follow. interesting to see the development of the main character. the inner factor is there, I would have wished - more insightfullness of the characters and less unendless descriptions of the pillars of the castles. The [...]
I loved Empress Orchid, but here Min sticks way too closely to historical events, and I never got a clear picture of the empress: She wants her son to rule, yet her son seems terrified of her; she doesn't seem to have enough outrage at what the foreigners are doing to her country; she reads the Times (of London) and cares what the journalists write. But in the end it just didn't have the emotional drama of the first book, which it could have done.
Nastavak ne tako dobar kao prvi dio, što je stvarno šteta, jer me prva knjiga oduševila. Previše nebitnih razgovora, transkripata i slično razvlače radnju i čine ju vrlo mlakom. Teško se snalaziti i između svih tih prinčeva, ujaka, ministara i svih ostalih likova.
The Last Empress is the sequel to Empress Orchid. While the last book ended with Orchid’s son becoming the Emperor, the sequel starts with Orchid mourning the death of her mother. The book describes her regency till the end of her days.Compared to the first book, this book is bland. The author hurries through major events quickly and keeps moving from one topic to the other with a breathless frequency and the reader is left with a feeling of confusion and dissatisfaction. A lot of interesting [...]
I’m sort of obsessed with Cixi, but I seriously regret wasting money on this book. It’s so devoid of substance it hurts. There are no fictional characters in it, yet NO ONE behaves like a real person of their place and time. The empress does nothing but sniff the flowers, cry, and invite men for consultations aka for tea. Yes! The Empress Dowager of China has secret tea parties with dudes who are not even the part of her family! And she invites them to sit down! Nobody could sit down in her [...]
Novel fiksi sejarah karya Anchee Min berisi catatan kehidupan Ibusuri Cixi (disebut sebagai Anggrek) dari saat ia memperoleh kekuasaan sebagai Ibusuri Tzu-Hsi, hingga kematiannya pada usia 72 tahun. Novel ini merupakan sekuel dari novel Empress Orchid.Cerita dimulai dengan kematian ibu Anggrek, dan meningkatnya konflik antaranya dengan Pangeran Kung mengenai masalah politik. Hubungan Anggrek dengan putranya, Tung Chih, juga memburuk. Bila dalam novel sebelumnya, kita akan dibawa dengan keindahan [...]
Cerita yang begitu detil, digambarkan oleh penulisnya dengan sedemikian rupa sehingga kita seolah-olah melihat dengan mata kepala sendiri suasana kolosal, kemewahan, kerusuhan, kesedihan bahkan fashion yang dikenakan.Terlepas apakah cerita ini memang kisah nyata atau tidak, Anggrek adalah penguasa yg luarbiasa. Dari hanya seorang selir menjelma menjadi maharani yg sesungguhnya. Keberanian, kecerdasan dan keuletannya luarbiasa. Percintaan Anggrek dan Yung Lu sangat mengharukan. Cinta yg terpisah [...]
Having recently returned from China, I wanted to know more about the "Dragon Lady", a name given to the last empress of China who had quite a reputation. This book was recommended by a fellow traveller. Although interesting for the most part and written from the viewpoint of the Empress by Anchee Min, I found a lot of it concentrated on the politics of the time. Although I would hardly call the politics of those times boring, it still was hard to get through the political parts of the story. As [...]
I didn't think much of this, and in retrospect wish I had not bothered. I read Orchid, which I thought was weak, but then happened to visit the Forbidden City, and happened onto the Empress's lodgings there, so thought this would be a good way to get an update on the historical period. Overall this was ponderous - while clearly based on letters and writings, it had little life of its own. In some cases more background would have brought the text to life (e.g a better explanation of the civil ser [...]
If you loved Empress Orchid like I did, don't bother with this book. I don't say that often, and I don't think reading a review would have dissueded me from reading the sequel about the rule of the Grand Dowager Empress. However, Min seemed to have forgotten how to tell a story. The dialogue was atrocious. She basically just took crib notes of the facts she uncovered and formed them into sentences and then followed them up with a sentence of the Empress revealing her true feelings about it. Seri [...]
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