Because she lived for so many years among the common people, Pearl Buck had a unique insight into the impact of war, revolution and the emergence of China into the twentieth century. In IMPERIAL WOMAN, she endeavors to give a true accounting of Tzu Hsi, the last Empress of China.
Tzu Hsi was born into the lowest rank of the Imperial dynasty, but through her skill at manipulation, rose to power during the turbulent period of transition from an ancient to modern China. Vilified by her peers and revered by the peasants, she was a woman of many talents and contradictions.
IMPERIAL WOMAN is a vibrant historical perspective of a bewitching woman, the ruling classes and the secret world of the Forbidden City.
Reviewed by Ann Bruns on January 22, 2011