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Études chinoisesHuizong, the next-to-last emperor of the Northern Song, is one of the most interesting and least understood figures of the Song period. Patricia Ebrey's gripping account of the fall of the Northern Song, which opens the introduction to this book, begins to show us why...The image of Huizong that emerges from this volume is both remarkably consistent and strikingly different from the image portrayed in the conventional histories. In place of the superficial aesthete manipulated by his ministers, Huizong appears here as a talented and ambitious ruler for whom politics, art, religion, and public policy were all aspects of a seamless vision of perfect imperial influence.
— Beverly Bossler