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Gardens of a Chinese Emperor


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Table of Contents

Contents List of Images Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter 1: Experiencing the Garden of Perfect Brightness (Yuanming Yuan) Chapter 2: Qianlong's Garden of Everlasting Spring (Changchun Yuan) Chapter 3: The Garden of the Clear Ripples (Qingyi Yuan) on Longevity Hill (Shou Shan) Chapter 4: The Garden of Tranquil Luminescence (Jingming Yuan) on Jade Spring Hill (Yuquan Shan) Chapter 5: The Garden of Quiet Delight (Jinyi Yuan) on Fragrant Hill (Xiang Shan) Afterword Glossary Bibliography Index

About the Author

Victoria M. Siu (1935-2010), a member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, U.S. province (RSCJ), held a Ph.D. from Georgetown University where her dissertation was on U.S.-Chinese relations.


China's most illustrious and ambitious garden-lover was the 18th-century emperor Qianlong. He furthered the efforts of two generations of emperors before him, and this book chronicles the cultural history of his efforts and their significance. The author's father's original studies of the imperial gardens around Beijing and their mid-19th century destruction laid the groundwork for the book. Siu (deceased; formerly, Religious of the Sacred Heart; PhD, US-Chinese relations) analyzes and describes the importance, on many levels, of these extensive parks and gardens in which, for the most part, Qianlong lived and ruled his empire. One main garden and four satellite gardens constitute Qianlong's 'Garden of Perfect Brightness,' the most elaborate imperial garden in its heyday in the 18th century. China's long tradition of relating architectural elements with water and mountains is the basis for the development of these huge gardens. Ceremonies and rituals were regularly performed in them, and surviving records, discussed by the author, document the details of the emperor's activities. Unfortunately, the reproductions both in black and white and color are often out of focus or lack sharpness; nevertheless, this book should be useful to historians interested in the Qing dynasty. Summing Up: Recommended. Asian history and garden/botanical history collections serving graduate students and researchers/faculty. * CHOICE *

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