Note: Cross-posted with permission from Historicity (Was Already Taken)
“I have read a great deal about Queen Victoria. Still, I think her life isn’t half as interesting and memorable as mine.” (left: photo, right: painting; both created in 1903)
Empress Cixi is a fascinating, complex, contradictory, and often polarizing figure. She took the reign of China for herself at a time in which the country was being torn apart by foreign influence, and spent her reign fighting against the inevitable fall of her country to foreign powers and ideals.