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Wu Zhao China's Only Female Emperor



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Wu Zhao, Woman Emperor of Chinais the compelling story of one womanrs"s unlikely and remarkable ascent to the apex of political power in the patriarchal society of traditional China. Wu Zhao, Woman Emperor of Chinais the account of the first and only female emperor in Chinars"s history. Set in vibrant, multi-ethnic Tang China, this biography chronicles Wu Zhaors"s humble beginnings as the daughter of a provincial official, following her path to the inner palace, where she improbably rose from a fifth-ranked concubine to becoming Empress. Using clever Buddhist rhetoric, grandiose architecture, elegant court rituals, and an insidious network of "cruel officials" to cow her many opponents in court, Wu Zhao inaugurated a new dynasty in 690, the Zhou. She ruled as Emperor for fifteen years, proving eminently competent in the arts of governance, deftly balancing factions in court, staving off the encroachment of Turks and Tibetans, and fostering the staters"s economic growth. SH0310 History of the Far East (AB) SH0311 History of China (AB) SH0301 World History I

Table of Contents

Editor's Prefacep. vii
Author's Prefacep. ix
Genealogies of the House of Tang and the House of Wup. xvii
What's in a Name?p. 1
Historical Preconditions for the Ascent of a Woman Emperor: Steppe Culture, the Silk Road, and Buddhismp. 11
From the Sichuan Countryside to the Inner Palacep. 17
Empress Wu: A Changing of the Guardp. 37
The Two Sagesp. 49
Celestial Empress and Grand Dowagerp. 65
Wu Zhao as Lover: Lady of Perfect Satisfactionp. 93
Sage Mother Risingp. 103
Queen of Terrorp. 125
Bodhisattva of Mercyp. 137
Emperor of the Zhou Dynastyp. 157
Octogenarian in Retreat: Succession, Factionalism, and Craneriding in the Final Yearsp. 181
Conclusion: The Vain Quest for Wu Zhaop. 205
A Note on the Sourcesp. 215
Chronologyp. 221
Glossaryp. 223
Indexp. 231
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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