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Authors: Keith Laidler

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The Last Empress: The She-Dragon of China

BOOK: The Last Empress: The She-Dragon of China
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The Last Empress

The She-Dragon of China

Keith Laidler

Table of Contents
COPYRIGHT

Copyright © 2003 Keith Laidler

All Rights Reserved.

Published in the UK in 2003 by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 8SQ, England

Keith Laidler has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, to be identified as the author of this work.

Requests to the Publisher should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester,West Sussex PO19 8SQ, England, or emailed to
[email protected]

This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold on the understanding that the Publisher is not engaged in rendering professional services. If professional advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN-10
: 0470848804

ISBN-13: 9780470864265

Photina by Mathematical Composition Setters Ltd, Salisbury, Wiltshire Printed and bound in Great Britain by Biddles Ltd, Guildford and King’s Lynn This book is printed on acid-free paper responsibly manufactured from sustainable forestry in which at least two trees are planted for each one used for paper production.

DEDICATION

To my many Chinese friends, fora multitude of privileged moments in the Middle Kingdom

CAST OF MAJOR CHARACTERS

NOTE: Pinyin romanisation of the Chinese names is given in parenthesis after each entry.

1.
A-lu-te
(A-lu-de)–Empress of Tung Chih Emperor. Possibly murdered on Yehonala’s orders after the death of Tung Chih.

2.
An Te-hai
(An Dehai)–Grand Eunuch during early part of Yehonala’s rule. Executed after breaking house-laws and (by Yehonala’s command) leaving the Forbidden City to travel to Shandong Province.

3.
Bruce, Frederick
–Lord Elgin’s (q.v.) younger brother, first British minister to China.

4.
Burgevine, Henry
–American mercenary, second-in-command of Ever-Victorious Army fighting for Imperials against the Tai Ping rebels. Later absconded to Tai Ping.

5.
Cheng
(Zheng)–Prince, Imperial family. After the Hsien Feng Emperor’s death he conspired with Su Shun and Prince I to assassinate Yehonala and Sakota and to become regents for the infant Tung Chih, Yehonala’s son by the Emperor. Sentenced to hang himself.

6.
Chi Ying
(Qi Ying)–Chinese mandarin, forced to commit suicide after failing to halt advance of Franco-British forces, 1860.

7.
Ch’ien-lung
(Qianlong)–Emperor of China. Considered one of the most successful and prestigious of China’s rulers (1711–1796).

8.
Ch’un
(Chun)–Prince. A son of the Tao Kwang Emperor. He married one of Yehonala’s sisters, by whom he had a son who became the reformist Kuang Hsu Emperor, whom Yehonala later imprisoned, and may have ordered poisoned.

9.
Dorgun
(Dorgon)–Manchu regent; oversaw the final victory of the Manchu over the Ming Dynasty in 1644.

10.
Elgin, Lord
–envoy of British government during Franco-British embassy to Peking (1860). Ordered the burning of the Summer Palace as reprisal against the Chinese torture and murder of allied prisoners.

11.
Favier
–Roman Catholic Bishop of Beijing. One of the first foreigners to warn that the Boxers intended a massacre of all foreigners.

12.
Gaselee
–British general, relieved siege of the foreign legation at Beijing 14th August 1900.

13.
Gordon, Charles George
–British army officer seconded to fight against Tai Ping rebels as leader of Ever-Victorious Army after F. T. Ward’s (q.v.) death. Later famously killed in Khartoum by followers of the Mahdi.

14.
Gros
–Baron, envoy of French government during Franco-British embassy to Beijing (1860).

15.
Hart, Sir Robert
–head of Chinese Customs Service, a sinophile who lived in China for over fifty years and survived the siege of the foreign legations.

16.
Hsien Feng
(Xianfeng)–Emperor of China. Raised Yehonala from concubine, third rank, to position of power in the Forbidden City, following the birth of their son, the Tung Chih Emperor.

17.
Hung Hsiu
-chuan (Hong Xiuquan)–failed scholar and visionary, who believed himself the younger brother of Jesus and, in 1851, raised the standard of revolt against the Qing Dynasty as undisputed leader of Tai Ping rebellion.

18.
I
(Yi)–Prince of the Imperial clan. Negotiator (along with Mu Yin (q.v.)) during Franco-British embassy 1860. With Su Shun and Prince Cheng he attempted to eliminate Yehonala and seize power after Emperor Hsien Feng’s death. Sentenced to hang himself by Yehonala.

19.
James, Hubert
–professor, beheaded by Boxers during the siege of the legations, and head exhibited in a cage over the Dong’an Gate.

20.
Jung Lu
(Ronglu)–sometime Head of Chinese Army, probable fiancé of Yehonala before she was taken as the Emperor’s concubine to the Forbidden City; her alleged lover thereafter.

21.
K’ang Hsi
(Kangxi)–Emperor of China, 1662–1722.

22.
Kang I
(Kang Yi)–Yehonala’s ‘Lord High Extortioner’ and conservative anti-reform minister, made a Boxer general by the Empress Dowager’s command.

23.
Kang Yu-wei
(Kang Youwei)–leading light of reform movement; responsible for the content of much of the Kuang Hsu Emperor’s ‘One Hundred Days’ reform.

24.
Ketteler, von
–German baron, murdered by Chinese at beginning of Boxer rebellion and the siege of the legations.

25.
Kuang Hsu
(Guangxu)–Emperor of China 1875–1908. Son of Prince Chun and Yehonala’s sister. After the failure of his 1898 ‘One Hundred Days’ reform attempt, he was held prisoner in the Forbidden City on Yehonala’s orders. Poisoned by persons unknown, possibly Li Lien-ying (q.v.), Yuan Shi-kai (q.v.), or Yehonala.

26.
Kung
(Gong)–Prince, brother of the Hsien Feng Emperor, negotiated the Convention of Beijing with British and French, 1860. Later acted as chief adviser toYehonala until he fell from favour.

27.
Li Hsiu-cheng
(Li Xiucheng)–Tai Ping rebel commander. Known as Chung Wang, or Loyal Prince. Captured after the fall of Nanking (1864). Wrote a history of the revolt before being beheaded.

28.
Li Hung-chang
(Li Hongzhang)–Chinese minister and sometime Viceroy of Chihli Province. Served with distinction in the Tai Ping rebellion, and proved invaluable as a negotiator with the French, Russian, British and Japanese powers. Perhaps the most intelligent and far-seeing of all Yehonala’s advisers.

29.
Li Lien-ying
(Li Lianying)–Grand Eunuch in the Forbidden City following An Te-hai’s untimely demise. Became chief confidant of Yehonala during the final decades of her rule.

30.
Li Ping-heng
(Li Pingheng)–Chinese pro-Boxer commander. Committed suicide after series of reverses against Western and Japanese troops, 1900.

31.
Li Tzu-cheng
(Li Zicheng)–leader of rebellion which toppled the Ming; declared himself Emperor of China, but was soon afterwards crushed by the Manchu.

32.
Loch, Henry
–secretary to Lord Elgin, captured and tortured by Chinese in 1860.

33.
Lung Yu
(Long You)–Empress of Kuang Hsu Emperor. Reputedly spied on the Emperor for Yehonala.

34.
McDonald, Sir Claude
–British Minister in Beijing during siege of legations.

35.
Morrison, George
–The Times correspondent during siege of legations and well into the twentieth century.

36.
Mu Yin
(Muyin)–President of the Board of War, chief negotiator (with Prince I) for Chinese during pre-conflict phase of Franco-British embassy, 1860.

37.
Muyanga
(Muyanga)–Uncle of Yehonala, who cared for her after her father’s death.

38.
Nurhachi
–Manchu ruler, founder of Qing Dynasty which ruled China from 1644 until 1912.

39.
Parkes, Harry
–British Consul in Canton, acted as interpreter during Lord Elgin’s Franco-British embassy to China, 1860; captured and tortured by the Chinese.

40.
Pearl Concubine
–concubine of Kuang Hsu, murdered on orders of Yehonala during flight from allied forces 1900.

41.
Pichon, Stephen
–French Minister to Beijing at the time of the siege of the foreign legations, 1900.

42.
Pu Yi
(Puyi)–son of Prince Chun the Younger and Jung Lu’s daughter; chosen by Yehonala to succeed the Kuang Hsu Emperor. He was to be the last Emperor of the Manchu Dynasty.

43.
P’un Chun
(Punchun)–son of Prince Chun, appointed Heir Apparent to Kuang Hsu Emperor. Later fell into disfavour and was demoted by Yehonala to commoner status.

44.
Sakota
–Empress of Hsien Feng Emperor, known also as Niuhuru, and Empress of the Eastern Palace. Ruled as co-Regent with Yehonala until her death in 1880 (reputedly poisoned on Yehonala’s orders).

45.
Seng Guo Lin Sen
–Mongol Commander of Chinese Army which defended Beijing during the Franco-British embassy in 1860.

46.
Seymour, Sir Edward
–Admiral, Royal Navy. Commander of relief force charged with lifting the siege of the legations in Beijing.

47.
Su Shun
(Sushun)–Chinese Minister, renowned for his corruption and vast fortune. Conspired against Yehonala after death of the Hsien Feng Emperor. Beheaded on Yehonala’s orders.

48.
Sugiyama
–Japanese Chancellor, Beijing. Murdered by pro-Boxer Muslim troops at the beginning of the siege of the foreign legations, 1900.

49.
Tan Ssu-t’ung
(Tan Sitong)–reformist scholar, executed for planning coup against Yehonala and her conservative allies.

50.
Tao Kwang
(Daoguang)–Emperor of China 1821–1850, attempted unsuccessfully to suppress the opium trade.

51.
Tseng Guo-feng
(Zeng Guofan)–Chinese general who gained renown fighting against the Tai Ping rebels.

52.
Tuan
–Prince of the Imperial clan, noted pro-Boxer sympathiser. His son, P’un Chun, was first made Heir Apparent, then demoted to commoner status.

53.
Teng Fu-hsiang
(Dong Fuxiang)–Muslim rebel turned Chinese general. Prominent in the siege of the foreign legations, 1900.

54.
Tung Chi
(Tongzhi)–Emperor of China, 1861–1875. Son of Yehonala, died of complications following smallpox; infection possibly orchestrated on Yehonala’s orders.

55.
Wade, Thomas
–interpreter, Lord Elgin’s Franco-British embassy to China, 1860.

56.
Ward, Frederick Townsend
–American mercenary, founder of the Ever-Victorious Army, killed fighting against the Tai Ping rebels in 1862.

57.
Ward, J. E
.–American envoy to China, 1859. Regarded as ‘tribute bearer’ by the Chinese.

58.
Weng Tung-ho
(Weng Tonghe)–tutor to Tung Chih and Kuang Hsu Emperors, Grand Councillor, supported reform movement and was cashiered by Yehonala after her 1898 ‘coup’.

59.
Wu K’o-tu
(Wu Ketu)–Censor, committed suicide at Tung Chih Emperor’s tomb in 1879 in protest at Yehonala’s flouting of tradition.

BOOK: The Last Empress: The She-Dragon of China
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