The concubine who launched modern China
Chang, Jung. Empress Dowager Cixi : The concubine who launched modern China. Jonathan Cape, 2013. 464 p. ISBN : 978-0-224087445.
Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908) is the most important woman in Chinese history. She ruled China for decades and brought a medieval empire into the modern age.
At the age of sixteen, in a nationwide selection for royal consorts, Cixi was chosen as one of the emperor’s numerous concubines and sexual partners. When he died in 1861, their five-year-old son succeeded to the throne. Cixi at once launched a palace coup against the regents appointed by her husband and made herself the real ruler of China – behind the throne, literally, with a silk screen separating her from her officials who were all male.
In this groundbreaking biography, Jung Chang vividly describes how Cixi fought against monumental obstacles to change China. Under her the ancient country attained virtually all the attributes of a modern state: industries, railways, electricity, telegraph, and an army and navy with up-to-date weaponry. It was she who abolished gruesome punishments like ‘death by a thousand cuts’ and put an end to foot-binding. She inaugurated women’s liberation, and embarked on the path to introduce parliamentary elections to China. Jung Chang comprehensively overturns the conventional view of Cixi as a diehard conservative and cruel despot.
- Plus d’informations sur le site de l’éditeur (possibilité de télécharger une partie de l’ouvrage)
- Ouvrage disponible à la bibliothèque du CECMC
- Jonathan Mirsky. The surprising empress. The New York Review of Books. December 5, 2013. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/dec/05/surprising-empress/
et la réponse de Mark C. Elliott ayant suivi la publication de ce compte rendu :
- Mark C. Elliott. What’s new about the empress? The New York Review of Books. February 6, 2014. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/feb/06/whats-new-about-the-empress/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nybooks+%28The+New+York+Review+of+Books%29
- Owen, James. Empress Dowager Cixi by Jung Chang, review. The Telegraph. October 11, 2013. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/historybookreviews/10372293/Empress-Dowager-Cixi-by-Jung-Chang-review.html
- Wasserstrom, Jeffrey. Empress Dowager Cixi, by Jung Chang. Financial Times. November 22, 2013. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/b60f459e-51de-11e3-8c42-00144feabdc0.html#axzz32MXejcB9