NPL will offer curbside service at select locations beginning June 8. Get details.

Empress Orchid

Book Cover
Average Rating
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Boston : Hougton Mifflin, 2004.
Physical Desc:
xiii, 336 pages ; 24 cm.
Edmondson Pike - Adult Fiction
Fiction Min
Main Library - Adult Fiction
Fiction Min
The setting is China's Forbidden City in the last days of its imperial glory, a vast complex of palaces and gardens run by thousands of eunuchs and encircled by a wall in the center of Peking. In this highly ordered place -- tradition-bound, ruled by strict etiquette, rife with political and erotic tension -- the Emperor, "the Son of Heaven," performs two duties: he must rule the court and conceive an heir. To achieve the latter, tradition provides a stupendous hierarchy of hundreds of wives and concubines. It is as a minor concubine that the beautiful Tzu Hsi, known as Orchid as a girl, enters the Forbidden City at the age of seventeen. It is not a good time to enter the city. The Ch'ing Dynasty in 1852 has lost its vitality, and the court has become an insular, xenophobic place. A few short decades earlier, China lost the Opium Wars, and it has done little since to strengthen its defenses or improve diplomatic ties. Instead, the inner circle has turned further inward, naively confident that its troubles are past and the glory of China will keep the "barbarians" -- the outsiders -- at bay. Within the walls of the Forbidden City the consequences of a misstep are deadly. As one of hundreds of women vying for the attention of the Emperor, Orchid soon discovers that she must take matters into her own hands. After training herself in the art of pleasing a man, she bribes her way into the royal bedchamber and seduces the monarch. A grand love affair ensues; the Emperor is a troubled man, but their love is passionate and genuine. Orchid has the great good fortune to bear him a son. Elevated to the rank of Empress, she still must struggle to maintain her position and the right to raise her own child. With the death of the Emperor comes a palace coup that ultimately thrusts Orchid into power, although only as regent until her son's maturity. Now she must rule China as its walls tumble around her, and she alone seems capable of holding the country together. This is an epic story firmly in the mold of Anchee Min's Becoming Madame Mao. Like that best-selling historical novel, the heroine of Empress Orchid comes down to us with a diabolical reputation -- a woman who seized power through sexual seduction, murder, and endless intrigue. But reality tells a different story. Based on copious research, this is a vivid portrait of a flawed yet utterly compelling woman who survived in a male world, a woman whose main struggle was not to hold on topower but to her own humanity. Richly detailed and completely gripping, Empress Orchid is a novel of high drama and lyricism and the first volume of a trilogy about the life of one of the most important women in history.
Also in This Series
Call Number
Edmondson Pike - Adult Fiction
Fiction Min
On Shelf
Main Library - Adult Fiction
Fiction Min
On Shelf
More Like This
Other Editions and Formats
More Details
0618068872, 0618562036 (pbk.), 9780618562039 (pbk.)
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
APA Citation (style guide)

Min, A. (2004). Empress Orchid. Boston: Hougton Mifflin.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Min, Anchee, 1957-. 2004. Empress Orchid. Boston: Hougton Mifflin.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Min, Anchee, 1957-, Empress Orchid. Boston: Hougton Mifflin, 2004.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Min, Anchee. Empress Orchid. Boston: Hougton Mifflin, 2004. Print.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
Staff View
Grouped Work ID:
Go To GroupedWorkView in Staff Client
Last File Modification TimeJan 28, 2020 11:24:48 PM
Last Grouped Work Modification TimeJun 02, 2020 10:44:24 PM

MARC Record

LEADER01360pam a2200373 a 4500
008031113s2004    mau           000 1 eng  
010 |a 2003056891
020 |a 0618068872
020 |a 0618562036 (pbk.)
020 |a 9780618562039 (pbk.)
040 |a DLC|c DLC|d YDX|d TNN
043 |a a-cc---
049 |a TNNA
099 |a Fiction|a Min
1001 |a Min, Anchee,|d 1957-
24510|a Empress Orchid /|c Anchee Min.
260 |a Boston :|b Hougton Mifflin,|c 2004.
300 |a xiii, 336 p. ;|c 24 cm.
650 0|a Empresses|v Fiction.
650 0|a Biographical fiction, Chinese.
650 0|a Historical fiction, Chinese.
651 0|a China|x History|y Guangxu, 1875-1908|v Fiction.
60000|a Cixi,|c Empress dowager of China,|d 1835-1908|v Fiction.
898 |a qBook
898 |a qEnglish
907 |a .b16522916|b 08-10-16|c 12-15-03
910 |a CARL0000216137
949 |b 35192051257917|c Fiction Min|h EP|j EP|l AFIC|m PBK|s S|p 15.29|w 0|x 20190130|t 20190204|q MDS|r MDS|v 0|y 20190130|z 0
949 |b 35192029787656|c Fiction Min|h MN|j MN|l AFIC|m BK|s S|p 24.00|w 46|x 20040113|t 20200128|q CNV|r JTM|v 1|y 20200128|z 1
991 |a gh|a mn|b 01-07-04|c m|d a|e @|f eng|g mau|h 0|i 10
998 4|a LDR0905 20170610111935 NPUB |b ITS0906 20190125090307 SMP 1700 |b LDR0905 20170610111935 NPUB