The enthralling story of the only woman to become Emperor of China…
In this sensational true story, bestselling author Nigel Cawthorne reveals the dark and dramatic story of the only female Emperor in Chinese history, Wu Chao: concubine, manipulator, politician, murderer, and living god.
At the age of 13, Wu Chao was made concubine to the Emperor, bringing great honour to her family.
Born the daughter of a merchant in seventh-century China, she skilfully used her beauty, wit, and powers of manipulation to seduce her way to the throne of the most powerful empire in the medieval world.
Beautiful, charming, and fiendishly clever, Wu plotted to eliminate all those she could not bewitch, executing her enemies without mercy, murdering her own children for political gain, and eventually proclaiming herself a living god.
Ruthlessly reigning for fifty years, she provoked scandal upon scandal by setting up her own imperial harem and giving her lovers positions of power.
From her instruction in the art of love by palace officials to her bloody downfall, this book throws open a window into the colourful world of T’ang Dynasty China, and to the woman whose infamous behaviour ushered in a golden age in history.
Nigel Cawthorne is the author of over 160 books including the bestselling Alan Johnson: Left Standing, Jeremy Clarkson: Motormouth, Harry: A Prince Among Men and A Little Bit of Stephen Fry. He has written numerous newspapers, as well as many TV and radio stations around the world. He lives in Bloomsbury, London’s literary area.