November 22nd, 2010

hisui from rasetsunyo

Exemplary Emperors

Am reading Emperor of China by Jonathan D. Spence. Passages from edicts, letters, and what-all of the Kangxi Emperor, third of the Manchu dynasty, pieced together by Spence to make a kind of memoir.

Must say, in this and in Spence's later book, Treason by the Book, the earlier Manchu emperors come across as rational, reasonable, and dear *god* hard-working people. I gather that the Kangxi Emperor got more paranoid in later years, but then, who didn't?