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The Empress and Mrs. CongerThe Uncommon Friendship of Two Women and Two Worlds$
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Grant Hayter-Menzies

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9789888083008

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888083008.001.0001

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Mother of China

Mother of China

(p.17) 2 Mother of China
The Empress and Mrs. Conger

Grant Hayter-Menzies

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter presents a brief biography of Empress Dowager Cixi. The received birth date for Cixi is November 29, 1835, but where her birth took place is a mystery. Cixi's father, Kueixiang, was a descendant of Nurhaci, the first ruler of the Manchu imperial house. This made him an imperial alternate, of lineage so designated to mark it off from the ruling imperial lineage. In the thirty-seven years before Sarah Conger's arrival in China in July 1898, Cixi had become the most powerful woman in the world next to Queen Victoria, one of the few foreign leaders she admired. The Empress Dowager has been the first of her race to apprehend the problem of the relation of China to the outer world, and to make use of this relation to strengthen her dynasty and promote material progress.

Keywords:   Empress Dowager Cixi, Kueixiang, Nurhaci, Cixi, Sarah Conger

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