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Eunuch and Emperor in the Great Age of Qing Rule

Norman Kutcher

University of California Press, December 2018

Eunuch and Emperor in the Great Age of Qing Rule

"Eunuch and Emperor in the Great Age of Qing Rule" offers a new interpretation of eunuchs and their connection to imperial rule in the first century and a half of the Qing dynasty (1644–1800). This period encompassed the reigns of three of China’s most important emperors, men who were deeply affected by the great eunuch corruption of the fallen Ming dynasty.

In this groundbreaking and deeply researched book, Norman Kutcher, professor of history, explores how Qing emperors sought to prevent a return of the harmful excesses of eunuchs and how eunuchs flourished in the face of the restrictions imposed upon them. We meet powerful eunuchs who faithfully served, and in some cases ultimately betrayed, their emperors. We also meet ordinary eunuchs whose lives, punctuated by dramas large and small, provide a fascinating perspective on the Qing palace world.