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The Last Empress von [Min, Anchee]
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The Last Empress Kindle Edition


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Länge: 321 Seiten Word Wise: Aktiviert Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
PageFlip: Aktiviert Sprache: Englisch

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Produktbeschreibungen

Amazon.de

Power is a here-today, gone-tomorrow concept in Chinese history, especially for women. In her previous novel, Empress Orchid, Anchee Min covered the first part of the life of Tzu Hsi, or Empress Orchid. Now, in The Last Empress, the empress is a widow, mother of the only male heir of the now-deceased emperor, and in a formidable position. Still, she must contend with palace intrigue on all fronts; even her eunuchs are bribed. She must put up with the smiling faces of men and women who mean her great harm, and, worst of all, her son takes up with prostitutes and dies of veneral disease. She adopts her nephew to be emperor, treats him like a son, and despairs of his weakness. Constant deceit is not the only difficulty which must be faced: incursions of foreigners and domestic rebellion are also part of this violent period at the end of the 19th century. There is the love-hate relationship with the Japanese, the Boxer Rebellion, and widespread mistrust of Western foreigners. Yet Empress Orchid believes that they must appease these factions in order to preserve the dynasty and the throne. All these problems converge to bring the Ch'ing Dynasty to its eventual demise.

A disclaimer: do not read The Last Empress as straight historical fact. Anchee Min makes no bones about the fact that her writing is meant to "rehabilitate" crucial female figures in Chinese history. Whichever account of Tzu Hsi is correct, the historical tradition that she was an overbearing harridan, selfish, greedy, and bloodthirsty or Min's portrayal of her as a loving mother, trying to protect her country and longing to step down but prevented from doing so by her wishy-washy son, The Last Empress is an endlessly interesting look at palace life, that hermetically sealed world that once existed in China. --Valerie Ryan

Amazon.com

Power is a here-today, gone-tomorrow concept in Chinese history, especially for women. In her previous novel, Empress Orchid, Anchee Min covered the first part of the life of Tzu Hsi, or Empress Orchid. Now, in The Last Empress, the empress is a widow, mother of the only male heir of the now-deceased emperor, and in a formidable position. Still, she must contend with palace intrigue on all fronts; even her eunuchs are bribed. She must put up with the smiling faces of men and women who mean her great harm, and, worst of all, her son takes up with prostitutes and dies of veneral disease. She adopts her nephew to be emperor, treats him like a son, and despairs of his weakness. Constant deceit is not the only difficulty which must be faced: incursions of foreigners and domestic rebellion are also part of this violent period at the end of the 19th century. There is the love-hate relationship with the Japanese, the Boxer Rebellion, and widespread mistrust of Western foreigners. Yet Empress Orchid believes that they must appease these factions in order to preserve the dynasty and the throne. All these problems converge to bring the Ch'ing Dynasty to its eventual demise.

A disclaimer: do not read The Last Empress as straight historical fact. Anchee Min makes no bones about the fact that her writing is meant to "rehabilitate" crucial female figures in Chinese history. Whichever account of Tzu Hsi is correct, the historical tradition that she was an overbearing harridan, selfish, greedy, and bloodthirsty or Min's portrayal of her as a loving mother, trying to protect her country and longing to step down but prevented from doing so by her wishy-washy son, The Last Empress is an endlessly interesting look at palace life, that hermetically sealed world that once existed in China. --Valerie Ryan


Produktinformation

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1556 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 321 Seiten
  • Verlag: Bloomsbury Paperbacks; Auflage: 1 (1. Dezember 2011)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B005T1YD30
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Screenreader: Unterstützt
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #209.583 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Amazon.com: 3.9 von 5 Sternen 90 Rezensionen
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen A subpar sequel... 4. Juni 2009
Von S. McGee - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
After devouring Empress Orchid in a single day, I found myself struggling to battle through this turgid sequel, which came as a surprise given that I had expected that as Min's main character moved toward consolidating power, her story would become more dramatic.

That may have been true of history, but not in this fictional recounting of the life of Tzu Hsi, aka Yehonala, or Orchid, the Manchu girl who becomes a concubine, then an Empress, then de facto dictator of China at the time of Queen Victoria. As the book opens, Orchid has buried her husband and must, alongside her fellow Empress, try to prevent the seizure of power by those who will try to destroy her infant son. Then she must tackle the bigger challenge of ruling the vast empire, as it comes under constant siege from Western powers. It's a two-front war that she is doomed to lose -- if she spends the time and attention that she needs to on running the empire's affairs, she can't spend it on the upbringing of the young Emperor who will take over the throne when he reaches his majority. The result is a series of tragedies that could have made for great dramatic fiction.

Alas... Min's narrative reads more as if Yehonala is recounting historical fact, with occasional bursts of dialogue to remind us that we're reading fiction. It's a lot of interior monologue, as well, a device that worked better in the first book when Yehonala's challenges were of a more domestic nature (how to bring herself to the attention of the Emperor, for instance.) Perhaps the problem is simply that the issues that the Empress had to deal with were so numerous and complex that it was impossible to do justice to them? In any event, Min, who has proved her ability to craft a gripping novel elsewhere, failed to deliver on this one.

As other reviewers have noted, it's rare to see a relatively positive portrayal of Yehonala, but Min makes a compelling case for viewing the empress as a victim of her times and circumstances, caught between warring factions and with limited room to manoeuver. In so many cases, it's hard to see how she could have acted differently, and the historical record of those actions is certainly open to the interpretation that Min ascribes to them, even if the mainstream view is a far less charitable one.

The real strengths of this novel lie in Min's command of the telling detail -- Yehonala's scroll paintings, retouched by her teacher; the freezing cold and scarcity of wood one winter; the horrors of her flight from the European invasion of Beijing after the Boxer Rebellion. In contrast to the first book, however, these are overwhelmed by sometimes tedious details of endless negotiating with court figures such as Prince Kung; one of these political battles began swiftly to feel very much like another.

Recommended only to die-hard fans of Empress Orchid, who should prepare for a disappointment.
5.0 von 5 Sternen . 2. März 2017
Von Chandra Maharaj - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I liked this book because it gives an insight into the period.I enjoy reading historical novels.Gives rather than tedious history books.
4.0 von 5 Sternen historical fun 29. März 2013
Von Norma Dieppa - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I really enjoyed reading the historical background of china with a story line based. This doesn't mean that I was not frustrated with the double standards, chauvinistic and back stabbing political issues. The horrible manner of punishment and the unjust manner of dealing with those less fortunate.
5.0 von 5 Sternen A different view of a much malinged woman of history ... 16. Mai 2016
Von C.Sullivan - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
A different view of a much malinged woman of history. During the turbulent times of the mid 1800"s, China was under economic and physical attack by many foreign Western and it's closer Eastern powers, who moved to render China and the Ching empire to their wills. One remarkable woman stood forth in this time and struggled to hold the Empire together.
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Slow Read 10. Dezember 2007
Von Margaret S. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I usually read a book within a couple of days but I put this one down repeatedly and came back to finish it more than once. The characters are not well developed and I really didn't care what happened to any of them one way or the other. Another problem was the sheer volume of new characters being thrown into the mix which just led to confusion. The actions of the characters in the book seemed weak and because of a lack of connection to the reader it became redundant. Person XYZ is fired, re-hired, shamed, sent back to his homeland, asked to return. Rinse and repeat.

A great deal of the book was spent trying to detail the intricacies of the political situation of the time period. So much so that it took over the entire last 3/4ths of the book and made it a very boring read. It began to read as a badly written historical novel w/o the correct historical data. Definitely not one of the author's finer novels.
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