Author: Keith McMahon
Title: Celestial Women Imperial Wives and Concubines in China from Song to Qing
Print Length: 312
Language: English, Francais, Italiano, Espanol, Deutsch
Format: PDF, ePub, mobi, azw, kf8, txt, ibook, Kindle
This volume completes Keith McMahons acclaimed history of imperial wives and royal polygamy in China. Avoiding the stereotype of the emperors plural wives as mere victims or playthings, the book considers empresses and concubines as full-fledged participants in palace life, whether as mothers, wives, or go-betweens in the emperors relations with others in the palace. Although restrictions on womens participation in politics increased dramatically after Empress Wu in the Tang, the author follows the strong and active women, of both high and low rank, who continued to appear. They counseled emperors, ghostwrote for them, oversaw succession when they died, and dominated them when they were weak. They influenced the emperors relationships with other women and enhanced their aura and that of the royal house with their acts of artistic and religious patronage. Dynastic history ended in China when the prohibition that women should not rule was defied for the final time by Dowager Cixi, the last great monarch before Chinas transformation into a republic.