is the fictionalized biography of the last Empress in China, Ci-xi, who began
as a concubine of the Xianfeng Emperor and on his death became the de facto
head of the Qing Dynasty until her death in 1908.
Buck recreates the life of one of the most
intriguing rulers during a time of intense turbulence. Tzu Hsi was born into
one of the lowly ranks of the Imperial dynasty. According to custom, she moved
to the Forbidden City at the age of seventeen to become one of hundreds of
concubines. But her singular beauty and powers of manipulation quickly moved
her into the position of Second Consort.
Tzu Hsi was feared and hated by many in the
court, but adored by the people. The Empress’ rise to power (even during her
husband’s life) parallels the story of China’s transition from the ancient to
the modern way. Download and start listening now!