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Spence offers a remarkable recreation of the life of K'ang-hsi, emperor of the Manchu dynasty from 1661 to 1772, assembled from contemporary documents. The result is an astonishing self-portrait, unmatched in the historical literature.
"For the first time in publishing history we non-scholars see the Emperor as a living man."--The New York Times Book Review
"This incredibly vivid, modern-sounding personality from a time and place that superficially seem 'hopelessly remote,' is brought to us in an absorbing, beautiful book."--The Wall Street Journal
1. In Motion
4. Growing Old
Appendix A: Seventeen Letters to Ku Wen-hsing, Chief Eunuch, Spring 1697
Appendix B: The "Final" Valedictory Edict