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Two Years in the Forbidden City

Two Years in the Forbidden City by Princess Der Ling
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THE author of the following narrative has peculiar qualifications for her task. She is a daughter of Lord Yu Keng, a member of the Manchu White Banner Corps, and one of the most advanced and progressive Chinese officials of his generation. she became First Lady-in-Waiting to the Empress Dowager, and while serving at the Court in that capacity she received the impressions which provide the subject-matter of this book. Her opportunity to observe and estimate the characteristics of the remarkable woman who ruled China for so long was unique, and her narrative throws a new light on one of the most extraordinary personalities of modern times. Yielding to the urgent solicitation of friends, she consented to put some of her experiences into literary form, and the following chronicle, in which the most famous of Chinese women, the customs and atmosphere of her Court are portrayed by an intimate of the same race, is a result.

First Page:

TWO YEARS IN THE FORBIDDEN CITY

By The Princess Der Ling

First Lady In Waiting To The Empress Dowager

TO MY BELOVED FATHER LORD YU KENG

FOREWORD

THE author of the following narrative has peculiar qualifications for her task. She is a daughter of Lord Yu Keng, a member of the Manchu White Banner Corps, and one of the most advanced and progressive Chinese officials of his generation. Lord Yu Keng entered the army when very young, and served in the Taiping rebellion and the Formosan war with France, and as Vice Minister of War during the China Japan war in 1895. Later he was Minister to Japan, which post he quitted in 1898 to become President of the Tsung li yamen (Chinese Foreign Office). In 1899 he was appointed Minister to France, where he remained four years. At a period when the Chinese Government was extremely conservative and reactionary, Lord Yu Keng labored indefatigably for reform. He was instrumental in reorganizing China's postal service on modern lines, but failed in efforts to revise the revenue system and modernize the army and navy, from being ahead of his times... Continue reading book >>


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