The Butterfly Lions: The Pekingese in History, Legend and Art (A Studio book)
The Butterfly Lions The Pekingese in History Legend and Art - A Studio book Author:Rumer Godden The story of Lootie, a tiny morsel of life 'looted' from a Chinese palace at a culmination of the Opium War and given to Queen Victoria, is the starting point of Rumer Godden's enchanting story of the pekingese...the breed of dogs which combines the beauty and delicacy of the butterfly with the pride and nobility of the lion. Long gr... more »eatly prized as the court dogs of the Chinese emperors, they were almost unknown in the West until the 19th C. and their introduction coincided with the reigns of two remarkable women: on one hand, the Dowager Empress of China, Tzu-hsi, one of the most fascinating..and perhaps wicked..women in history; on the other, Victoria, the young British monarch who was to see her empire grow to rival that of the Chinese.
Rumer Godden takes these two very different women and their courts..the Summer Palace and the Winter Castle..and around their lives and times weaves a history of the 'golden-coated nimble dogs, 'as Marco Polo described them.
The pekingese were so important in Chinese court and religious life that they recur repeatedly in the decorative arts, in scrolls, ornaments and painting,s and in the legends and literature of China. here Godden has assembled a beautiful collection of illustrations to show the role and evolution of the pekingese down the ages. She also describes the development of the breed in the West, notably through the celebrated Alderbourne kennels, and she describes and illustrates her own and other famous pekingese.« less