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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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(p.200) (p.201) 14 Reconciliation
The Empress and Mrs. Conger

Grant Hayter-Menzies

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter discusses the return of Empress Dowager Cixi and Guangxu Emperor to Beijing. A few days after the court's return, the Guangxu emperor received the credentials of six foreign ministers, among them Edwin Conger; and as Sarah points out, they were shown especial favor by being permitted to enter the Forbidden City. While the emperor had contented himself with a few polite greetings, Cixi “added an expression of regret for the events of 1900, and an assurance that they should not happen again.” Sarah and the empress dowager reunited in 1902 and established an extraordinary friendship. For all their shared diplomatic acumen, both Cixi and Sarah were essentially fascinated with the way the other lived, learning what made the other and her culture tick.

Keywords:   Empress Dowager Cixi, Guangxu Emperor, Edwin Conger, Sarah, Forbidden City

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