Emperor of China: Self Portrait of Kʻang Hsi

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Knopf, 1974 - Biography & Autobiography - 217 pages
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User Review  - William345 - LibraryThing

An fascinating window on Imperial Qing China in the words of Emperor K'ang-Hsi (reigned 1661-1722). I've never read anything like it. To think that author Spence created this "memoir" by assembling ... Read full review

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User Review  - antiquary - LibraryThing

One of my favorite books about China, though from other reading I suspect Spence's selection from K'ang Hsi's writings makes him out to be more genial and rational than he actually was. Still, it is a wonderfully vivid expression of what being a Manchu emperor was actually like from the inside. Read full review


Acknowledgments ix
Ruling 25
Appendix B The Final Valedictory Edict 167

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About the author (1974)

Jonathan D. Spence was born in England and received his B.A. from Cambridge University. In 1966 he received his Ph.D. from Yale University and has been a professor of Chinese history there since that time. Spence has won a variety of major fellowships and has served as visiting professor at Belfast's Queens University, Princeton University, and Beijing University. He employs a distinctive writing and historical style, weaving together various kinds of materials to fashion new forms of historical narrative. The best examples of his unique style are The Death of Woman Wang (1979) and The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci. In his works, Spence provides a uniquely accessible vision of late imperial China. His writings have won numerous awards and prizes. The Gate of Heavenly Peace (1982) won two awards---the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Henry D. Vursell Memorial Award of the American Academy-Institute of Arts and Letters.

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