Empress Orchid by Anchee Min pp, Bloomsbury, £ Cixi, the last empress of China from to , is one of those historical figures. The last decades of the nineteenth century were a violent period in China’s history, marked by humiliating foreign incursions and domestic rebellions and. Editorial Reviews. Review. Power is a here-today, gone-tomorrow concept in The Last Empress: A Novel – Kindle edition by Anchee Min.

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Although Orchid loves Guang-hsu, her sense of political responsibility again overrides maternal feelings. In some cases more background would have brought the text to life e.

Kita akan minum anggur ubi manis dan kita akan berbincang She wants her epress to rule, yet her son seems terrified of her; she doesn’t seem to have enough outrage at what the foreigners are doing to her country; she reads the Times of London and cares what the journalists write.

It was interesting reading about the Boxer Rebellion from the “opposite” viewpoint. The first book told of her arrival in the Forbidden City as one of hundreds of concubines to emperor Hsien Feng; her affair with the emperor and the birth of their son, which elevated her to the title of empress; and her husband’s death while the court was in exile during the Opium Wars.

To see her work so many years to hold together the country she loved, to work in an man’s world, her words against men, when everyone said horrible things about her, seeing so many of her loved ones die before her, and then to die without being able to be with the one she loved, having to love him from afar and in secret – it’s a very sad story.

Recounted through Tzu Hsi’s first-person, the early chapters encompass her trials as a young “widow,” as co-regent with the late emperor’s wife and as a mother. Some of the missionaries were killed.


However, a mother-son bond eventually forms between the two. The narrative emprss also inconsistent. At times, I found myself getting tried of the book, and then there would be this wonderful passage of sheer poetry.

However, the heavy diet of reading about such dampened my desire to read more of royal subjects.

The Last Empress by Anchee Min – Review | BookPage | BookPage

To ask other readers questions about Snchee Last Empressplease sign up. The retrospective aspect of the narrative just makes things worse and robs hhe story of any interest as it just deteriorates into an endless medley of whining and excuses by the Empress. It makes me really sad at these moments to be an American and to know my ancestors helped to tear apart another country, all in the name of Imperialism or capitalism or what-have-you.


Books by Anchee Min. I got weary of excuses she made for her excesses, but I gave it three stars because I did learn about the dynasty in a relatively empreas way. The plundering of Chinese resources and usurpation of Chinese ports and territories is seen in a different light offering a much-needed balance to the Anglo version of history. Eventually, foreign influence, aggression and a poor economy led to a native Chinese revolt in the Boxer Rebellion, but the powers against China were just too great.

Even though she tries so hard to do what’s best, she doesn’t always succeed and on the contrary she is often misunderstood or slandered.

Reading the books in sequence would have filled in some of tne gaps, nevertheless, Min supplies the necessary information to understand the Empress’s life. Willow istri Yung Lu memberitahu saat kondisi Yung Lu memburuk, terserang stroke dan tak lagi dapat bicara. With Cixi’s power temporarily solidified, The Last Empress has a distinctly different feel than the original story in Empress Orchid which was more about learning the ro Anchee Min is one of my anchhee authors, and Empress Orchid is one of my favorite books, but this sequel seems to delve a annchee more into Empress Cixi’s evil reputation, making the main character more and more unlikeable.

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Want to Read Currently Reading Read. An assassination attempt is made on her life. Cinta yg terpisah Cerita yang begitu detil, digambarkan oleh penulisnya dengan sedemikian rupa sehingga kita seolah-olah melihat dengan mata kepala sendiri suasana kolosal, kemewahan, kerusuhan, kesedihan bahkan fashion yang dikenakan. The empress does nothing but sniff the flowers, cry, and invite men for consultations aka for tea.

However, such stories are seemingly published only to justify further invasions of China. I thought this book was absolutetly fascinating. I will look for a history of the era to better understand what was going on, but this is too piecemeal to follow coherently. Anchee Min was born in Shanghai in Shortly after the appointment of Guang-hsu as Orchid’s successor, her love Yung Lu announces that he is planning to marry and move away to faraway Sinkiang.


It is rather surprising because the author herself is of Chinese origin, so I am not sure why she chose to depict the events in this manner. I am ready to believe the later. During this time, she meets with Robert Hart, an important contributor to the stability of China’s economy. I enjoyed the first part and last parts a lot though.

Just reading about what she faced exhausted me. I thought perhaps this sequel to Empress Orchid might prove as vividly stunning but I was dismayed. Quotes from The Last Empress.

I still found it a fascinating and educational look at who the last Empress Orchid might have been and how the media could have portrayed her so differently. Her first memoir, Red Azaleawas an international bestseller, published in twenty countries. Born into a declining gentry family inthe year-old Cixi travels to Beijing with her widowed mother, brother and sister. Empress Orchid’s son Tung Chih is also beginning to hate her, much to her despair. It didn’t bother me too much, but it felt a little like the author was trying too hard to condense a very long time period in a single book.

I appreciated the delicacy required by the Empress and Emperors Tung Chih and Guang-hsu to just keep the status quo amongst all the political factions in China.

Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts. China is a neighbour we share border with and probably has a civilization as old as ours, if not more. The Hundred Days Reform could have been really an exciting section but I have never read anything more boring.

Behind the wall

Tzu Hsi, or Orchid, is a truly memorable character, and the story is still gripping, even if there were some parts I found a little heavy or too slow. The book is simple sequence of facts with an distortion in favor empess emotional state of the main character. He embraced the wrong people and the Empress was unable to do anything about it.

It’s high time we began taking interest in empres bit more of one of the world’s longest continuous civilisations.