Imperial Masquerade: The Legend of Princess Der Ling

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The extraordinary life of the Manchu author, feminist and figure of controversy, who yearned to expose the true humanity of the elderly empress dowager feared and hated by the rest of the world, but never quite shared the truth of herself.

Hong Kong University Press

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New York 2008 Hard cover Very Good. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. 389 p. Contains: Illustrations, black & white.

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Overview

The extraordinary life of the Manchu author, feminist and figure of controversy, who yearned to expose the true humanity of the elderly empress dowager feared and hated by the rest of the world, but never quite shared the truth of herself.

Hong Kong University Press

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Editorial Reviews

The Search for Modern China and Return to Dragon Mountain

The last years of the Qing dynasty were a time of rumors, adventures, and mysterious opportunities for the polyglot inhabitants of Beijing. The memoir written in 1911 by the self-styled 'Princess' Der Ling, lady-in-waiting to the Empress Dowager between 1903 and 1905, has always presented baffling problems concerning accuracy and interpretation. Imperial Masquerade is an ingenious rethinking of the available evidence, and presents an absorbing account of how Der Ling survived at Court, and what it must have been like to work for such a formidable ruler.

— Jonathan Spence

The Search for Modern China and Return to Dragon Mountain - Jonathan Spence

The last years of the Qing dynasty were a time of rumors, adventures, and mysterious opportunities for the polyglot inhabitants of Beijing. The memoir written in 1911 by the self-styled 'Princess' Der Ling, lady-in-waiting to the Empress Dowager between 1903 and 1905, has always presented baffling problems concerning accuracy and interpretation. Imperial Masquerade is an ingenious rethinking of the available evidence, and presents an absorbing account of how Der Ling survived at Court, and what it must have been like to work for such a formidable ruler.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789622098817
  • Publisher: Hong Kong University Press
  • Publication date: 3/4/2008
  • Pages: 444
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

A resident of Sidney, British Columbia, Grant Hayter-Menzies has served as art and music critic for newspapers and magazines from the U.S. Pacific Northwest to the Eastern seaboard and in Western Canada. He is a former board member of the Northwest China Council in Portland, Oregon. Grant's first book, a long-awaited biography of American stage and screen comedienne Charlotte Greenwood, was published by McFarland & Company in May 2007.

Hong Kong University Press

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Table of Contents


List of Illustrations     ix
Foreword   Pamela Kyle Crossley     xv
Preface     xix
Acknowledgements     xxvii
Part I
"The marriage, I believe, was a love affair..."     3
Culture clash     15
"A noisy family of English-speaking children..."     23
Beijing to Tokyo     35
Samurai in pinstripes     43
Chrysanthemums and politics     55
Back to China, forward to France     69
La ville lumiere     79
Chinese powder keg     91
Dancing with Isadora     99
"The golden goddess of tragedy"     105
Scandal     113
Part II
Empress Dowager Cixi     123
Garden of Nurtured Harmony     129
Lady of the court     143
Eunuchs and jewels     149
"A very precious child"     157
Rumblings in paradise     167
The Forbidden City     175
Cat's eyes and big feet     187
A portrait for the Empress     193
Hungry ghosts     203
Imperial birthday     215
War clouds     231
"First-class female official"     239
Part III
East is West, West is East     253
Flapper "princess"     259
"To others she may have been cruel..."     265
On the defense     273
Scheherazade of the Hotel Wagons-Lits     283
"...she means to educate Americans..."     295
Squeeze money     303
China reborn     313
Princess of patriots     321
Legacy     329
Notes     341
Family Tree     366
Bibliography     367
Index     377
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