The imperial woman

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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In 1852, a Manchurian girl, Orchid, clan name Yehonala, was summoned to be viewed by the Emperor of China. On the twentieth day of the sixth moon, the last Empress of China was chosen. By right, her cousin, Sakota, was the Emperor's consort, but she gave birth to a girl. Yehonala gave birth to a boy and became the Empress, Tzu Hsi. Once the Son of Heaven dies, Tzu Hsi and the consort, Tzu An, became the Empress Mother and Regent. Since Tzu Hsi was the stronger of the two, it seemed as if she was the only Empress. Her son grew up to be the Emperor of China. All his decisions were still made by his mother, but he died young. Tzu Hsi had to find the next heir before any trouble started. She took her sister and the sixth prince's son to be raised as the next Emperor.

Once the Heir grew up, Tzu Hsi retired to the Summer Palace. Again, she was called back to be the ruler of China since her nephew had made foolish decision. The people of China called her Old Buddha.

According the novel, Yehonala was a beautiful woman with a fierce heart. Since she was a virgin, she was called to be viewed by the Dowager Mother and the Son of Heaven. She could not disobey the command. Yehonala wanted to marry her third cousin, Jung Lu, but the Emperor of China chose her to be one of his concubines. His mother opposed this decision because she noticed Yehonala had a strong spirit. Concubines were not meant to have ambitions, they were meant to be pretty and serve the Emperor in any way. Yehonala's cousin, Sakota was chosen to the Consort. Earlier, an older Sakota was Emperor's chosen one, but she...