Daughter of Heaven: The True Story of the Only Woman to Become Emperor of China

Overview


She was taken to the palace as a concubine for the Emperor. Using her skill in the bedroom, she seduced her way to the throne of the most powerful empire in the world. She executed her enemies without mercy, and even murdered her own children for political gain. She set up her own imperial harem made up of young men. She elected herself a living god and held a ruthless reign of terror for over fifty years. Yet in the end, it was sex that led to her downfall. In this sensational true story, bestselling author ...
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Overview


She was taken to the palace as a concubine for the Emperor. Using her skill in the bedroom, she seduced her way to the throne of the most powerful empire in the world. She executed her enemies without mercy, and even murdered her own children for political gain. She set up her own imperial harem made up of young men. She elected herself a living god and held a ruthless reign of terror for over fifty years. Yet in the end, it was sex that led to her downfall. In this sensational true story, bestselling author Nigel Cawthorne reveals the dark and dramatic story of the only woman ever to rule China; Wu Chao, concubine, manipulator, politician, murderer, Emperor. From her instruction in the art of love by palace officials, to her eventual sticky end, this book opens a window into the colorful world of Tang Dynasty China – a world of sex and of power. Like a cross between Gone with the Wind and Fatal Attraction, you won’t be able to put it down! This is the gripping story of China’s Cleopatra; a story of murder, sex, love, power, and revenge.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781851685301
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications
  • Publication date: 9/25/2007
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 6.55 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgements     vi
The Call of Heaven     1
The Child of Heaven     5
The Lotus Flowers     20
The Art of the Bedroom     44
The Dew of Heaven     62
The Heavenly Empress     82
The Tiger and the Lamb     93
The Regent Unbound     113
The Phoenix Arises     132
The Holy and Divine Emperor     162
The Hall of Mirrors     186
The Throne of Blood     214
The Children of Heaven     236
Dramatis Personae     255
Selected Bibliography     259
Index     261
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Controversial Personality of the Only Reigning Empress of China

    Nigel Cawthorne does a satisfactory job in depicting the rise and fall of Wu Chao, the only woman who became a reigning empress in the history of the Middle Kingdom. Cawthorne sometimes loses his audience by giving too much detail during his telling of side stories. The readability of "Daughter of Heaven" would definitely benefit from the reproduction of select family trees for the different imperial dynasties such as the Sui and the T'ang. The presence of multiple concubines who bore children to different emperors does not make it easy for the audience to keep track of who is who around Wu Chao. The appendix called "Dramatis personae" is of limited use to readers who are not very familiar with the history of Imperial China. Furthermore, the only map of China that is reproduced at the beginning of Cawthorne's book is so general that it is close to useless. High-level maps of Chinese cities such as Chang'an and Luonyang would definitely help readers better appreciate the topographies of these cities. A picture is often worth 1,000 words. To summarize, "Daughter of Heaven" runs the risk of alienating a wide audience due to a sub-optimal use of maps and graphs and the presence of too many detours of limited value in the narrative.

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