The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City

by Geremie R. Barme
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674027795

ISBN-13: 9780674027794

Pub. Date: 05/31/2008

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Read supplementary material prepared by Geremie Barmé

Read the Bldg Blog interview with Mary Beard about the Wonders of the World series
(Part I and Part II)

The Forbidden City (Zijin Cheng) lying at the heart of Beijing formed the hub of the Celestial Empire for five centuries. Over the past century it has led a reduced life as the refuge for a

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Overview

Read supplementary material prepared by Geremie Barmé

Read the Bldg Blog interview with Mary Beard about the Wonders of the World series
(Part I and Part II)

The Forbidden City (Zijin Cheng) lying at the heart of Beijing formed the hub of the Celestial Empire for five centuries. Over the past century it has led a reduced life as the refuge for a deposed emperor, as well as a heritage museum for monarchist, republican, and socialist citizens, and it has been celebrated and excoriated as a symbol of all that was magnificent and terrible in dynastic China’s legacy.

The Forbidden City’s vermilion walls have fueled literary fantasies that have become an intrinsic part of its disputed and documented history. Mao Zedong even considered razing the entire structure to make way for the buildings of a new socialist China. The fictions surrounding the Forbidden City have also had an international reach, and writers like Franz Kafka, Elias Canetti, Jorge Luis Borges, and Mervyn Peake have all succumbed to its myths. The politics it enshrined have provided the vocabulary of power that is used in China to the present day, though it is now better known as a film set or the background of displays of opera, rock, and fashion.

Geremie Barmé peels away the veneer of power, secrecy, inscrutability, and passions of imperial China, to provide a new and original history of the culture, politics, and architecture of the Forbidden City. Designed to overawe the visitor with the power of imperial China, the Forbidden City remains one of the true wonders of the world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674027794
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
05/31/2008
Series:
Wonders of the World Series
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
4.60(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

A Reader's Guide

Emperors and Their Names

A Note on Romanisation

Timeline

Plans

Ch. 1 A Palace of Blood and Tears 1

Ch. 2 The Architecture of Hierarchy 25

Ch. 3 Rise and Decline 47

Ch. 4 A Day in the Reign 72

Ch. 5 The Dowager 91

Ch. 6 Within and Without the Palace 114

Ch. 7 Three Hundred Years On 143

Ch. 8 The Banquet of History 170

Ming and Qing Rulers 193

Glossary 196

Visiting the Forbidden City and Imperial Properties 200

Further Reading 209

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