Imperial audience’s feathers

Grant Hayter-Menzies

in The Empress and Mrs. Conger

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9789888083008
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207554 | DOI:
Imperial audience’s feathers

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This chapter describes Sarah Conger's first meeting with Empress Dowager Cixi. Sarah Conger and the wives of six other foreign ministers had been invited by the Empress Dowager for an audience in Zhongnanhai, the Sea Palaces complex. Amiable Cixi was, but it was not weakness that moved her to grant this audience — it had taken a fair amount of courage, and perhaps an equal amount of realpolitik. As when she freely invited the French doctor to come to the Forbidden City to examine the emperor, it was the politically savvy thing to do to beckon the wives of the foreign ministers for a glimpse of her private world.

Keywords: Sarah Conger; Empress Dowager; Zhongnanhai; Forbidden city

Chapter.  2708 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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