Reviews

  • "Jung Chang tells a story and what a colourful tale it is…This is history at its most readable."

    George Walden, Evening Standard
  • "A truly authoritative account of Cixi’s rule. Her story is both important and evocative."

    Orville Schell, New York Times
  • "Filled with new revelations, it's a gripping and surprising story of an extraordinary woman in power. Using Chinese sources, totally untapped by western books, this reappraises one of the great monstresses of modern history... Jung Chang's revisionism means that this book reveals a new and different woman: ambitious, sometimes murderous, but pragmatic and unique. All of this adds up to make Empress Dowager Cixi a powerful read."

    Simon Sebag Montefiore, BBC History Magazine
  • "If there is one woman who mattered in the history of modern China, it is the empress dowager Cixi…[Her] conventional image is queried in this detailed and beautifully narrated biography, which at long last restores the empress dowager to her rightful place. Chang’s book relies heavily on the vast holdings in the imperial archives in Beijing... She has a wonderful eye for the telling detail and excels at unravelling palace intrigues and corridor politics."

    Frank Dikotter, Sunday Times
  • "Chang has a proven Midas touch... Empress Dowager, by returning to female experience in the style of Wild Swans yet focusing, like Mao, on a controversial ruler, should appeal to fans of both."

    Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Financial Times
  • "A captivating cradle-to-grave biography"

    VOGUE
  • "In this vivid biography, as colourful and intricate as the embroidery on a Chinese robe, [Jung Chang] uses new evidence and meticulous research to cast a spotlight on the amazing woman she regards as the mother of modern China…This is a rich, dramatic story of rebellions, battles, plotting, rivalry, foreign invasion, punishment and forbidden love."

    Bel Mooney, Daily Mail
  • "An absorbing read."

    Josh Neicho, Independent on Sunday
  • "This is an important book, drawing attention to a period in China's history that has received little, and usually only negative, attention. Chang writes with verve, energy and evident concern for the country in which her books are proscribed and her family was made to suffer during the Cultural Revolution."

    BBC History Magazine