Emperor of China

By Jonathan D. Spence,

Book cover of Emperor of China: Self-Portrait of K'ang-Hsi

Book description

A remarkable re-creation of the life of K'ang-hsi, emperor of the Manchu dynasty from 1661-1772, assembled from documents that survived his reign. Illustrations, notes, bibliography, index.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

1 author picked Emperor of China as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The eighteenth-century Kangxi Emperor was one of the most successful rulers in Chinese history, and he had a fascinating life. But Jonathan Spence was not content to write a standard academic biography. Instead, he writes from a first-person perspective. The reader does not look at Kangxi’s life from the outside but sees the world from the emperor’s point of view. Spence was a talented stylist, so the book is not only a profound study of Chinese history but also an innovative piece of literature. 

Want books like Emperor of China?

Our community of 9,000+ authors has personally recommended 48 books like Emperor of China.

Browse books like Emperor of China

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in China History, the Qing dynasty, and China?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about China History, the Qing dynasty, and China.

China History Explore 27 books about China History
The Qing Dynasty Explore 28 books about the Qing dynasty
China Explore 569 books about China