Item description for Imperial Masquerade: The Legend of Princess Der Ling by Grant Hayter-menzies & Pamela Kyle Crossley...
Daughter of a Manchu aristocrat, granddaughter of a Boston merchant, educated like a boy in the Confucian classics, a baptized Catholic blessed by the hand of Pope Leo XIII, a woman who donned chic Western fashions in China and her ceremonial court robes in the United States, and wife of an American soldier of fortune, Princess Der Ling was a fascinating human battleground of warring identities, a victim of the hallucinogenic effects of too much publicity, much of it prompted by Der Ling herself, and a figure whose life provides a glimpse into one Eurasian woman's experience of living not just between two cultures - that of China and the West - but among many different worlds: social, religious, moral, political.
Imperial Masquerade: The Legend of Princess Der Ling, the first biography of one of the twentieth century's most intriguing cross-cultural personalities, traces not only the life of Princess Der Ling, in all its various transformations, but offers a fresh look at the woman she lionized and, ultimately, betrayed - the Empress Dowager Cixi, to whom, like Der Ling, many legends have been affixed over the past century.The book includes photographs, some never before seen, clarifying Der Ling's very real affection for the ruler feared before the Boxer Uprising and hated after it, and showing a side of Cixi that many who approach her with preconceived opinions may find intriguing if not revelatory. The book depicts the changing worlds of Paris, Tokyo and the other international stages of Der Ling's development as woman and as mystery, and deals with the many teachers who made her who she was: Isadora Duncan, Sarah Bernhardt, the Empress of Japan, her own broad-minded father, American society figures like Barbara Hutton, and most of all, the Empress Dowager Cixi, who knew all about being several different people at once.
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Studio: Hong Kong University Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.5" Width: 6.5" Height: 9.5" Weight: 1.75 lbs.
Publisher Hong Kong University Press
ISBN 9622098819 ISBN13 9789622098817
Availability 0 units.
More About Grant Hayter-menzies & Pamela Kyle Crossley
Reviews - What do customers think about Imperial Masquerade: The Legend of Princess Der Ling?
Imperial Masquerade - Grant Hayter-Menzies May 30, 2008
Engaging read from start to finish. I saw Mr. Hayter-Menzies do a book presentation and signing at the Freer Gallery at the Smithsonian, bought the book on the spot and read it immediately on the flight back to California. Hard to believe Der Ling not only survived, but thrived in this time period with such a before-her-time, women's rights attitude in Chinese society, not to mention French and American societies where women weren't supposed to be self-sufficient and bold. You could almost credit her with the popularity of compact, personally owned photo image cameras - Kodak should have paid her a commission or marketing fee. I'm also amazed that Der Ling was able to "pose" so readily as "Chinese royalty" and got away with it for so long. The fact that she did "live" the true life of a Chinese Princess within the royal court made her books, lectures and performances accurate, entertaining and believable - so I guess her audiences must have been captivated by her stories. If Bush can pose as a president, why couldn't Der Ling pose as a royal Chinese princess? Absolutely a must-read for anyone interested in Chinese culture and world history in general.