Huizong was an exceptional emperor who lived through momentous times. A man of many talents, he wrote poetry and created his own distinctive calligraphy style; collected paintings, calligraphies, and antiquities on a large scale; promoted Daoism; and involved himself in the training of court artists, the layout of gardens, and reforms of music and medicine. The quarter century when Huizong ruled is just as fascinating. The greatly enlarged scholar-official class had come into its own but was deeply divided by factional strife. The long struggle between the Chinese state and its northern neighbors entered a new phase when Song proved unable to defend itself against the newly emergent Jurchen state of Jin. Huizong and thousands of members of his family and court were taken captive, and the Song dynasty had to recreate itself in the South.
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Patricia Ebrey is Professor of History and Chinese Studies, University of Washington.Review:
Huizong, the next-to-last emperor of the Northern Song, is one of the most interesting and least understood figures of the Song period. Patricia Ebrey's gripping account of the fall of the Northern Song, which opens the introduction to this book, begins to show us why...The image of Huizong that emerges from this volume is both remarkably consistent and strikingly different from the image portrayed in the conventional histories. In place of the superficial aesthete manipulated by his ministers, Huizong appears here as a talented and ambitious ruler for whom politics, art, religion, and public policy were all aspects of a seamless vision of perfect imperial influence.
--Beverly Bossler (Études chinoises 2006-01-01)
This collection provides fresh insights into late Northern Song historiography and the Huizong period. Its multiperspective analysis makes it an attractive reference source for specialists in Song history.
--Daniel J. Meissner (The Historian)
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Book Description Harvard University Asia Center, 2006. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110674021274