Forbidden City Author:Muriel Molland Jernigan She was the one who "ate life," one for whom all the power of the Dragon throne could not give her what she sought. This is the story of Nala, born to luxury, who was sent at sixteen to the Summer Palace, to be the Emperor's concubine, and who lived to wrest the throne from the dying monarch. It is the story of Jung Lu, the Manchu Lord who gav... more »e her the only love she was ever to know, and whose quiet and wise counsel gave her the wisdom to rule. It is the story of a country, a people, a way of life, and a hatred born of misunderstanding which carried tragic consequences. For nothing Jung Lu could say or do could soothe her hatred of the "foreign devils" and their woman ruler who dared to call herself by a name that meant "victorious." For the first time the full picture of the Empress Dowager of China, Tsu Hsi, last of the Manchus, is drawn to life.
From her seat on the Dragon throne she commanded an Empire. The decisions she made still leave their mark on the world. Few women in history have held as much power. Yet the days were never long enough for all she wanted to do.
Mrs. Jernigan tells the strange story of Tsu Hsi's love her for Prime Minister, which defied tradition, with smooth-paced narrative power, in an absorbing novel, full of pageantry and turbulence. Forbidden City is a vivid portrait of one of the least-known but one of the most remarkable figures of history.
Muriel Molland Jernigan was born in Nanking, China, has devoted a lifetime of study to Manchu and Chinese life, among Manchu and Chinese friends. The daughter of a missionary, she recalls family hardship and tragedy during the Boxer Year. She lived in Peking until the revolution, and knows the story of the Empress Tsu Hsi in a way few writers can know that subject. From the drama of Nala, the concubine who became rulers of the Middle Kingdom--hence of the world--she has written this rich and compelling novel.« less