Summer Reading List

For those of you who will be attending my seminar Lunch with the Qianlong Emperor, here is a suggested reading list. Of course it is not required that you read these prior to the seminar. The object is to become informed and to have fun!

So without further ado:


Annotated Reading List for Lunch with the Qianlong Emperor


The following list of volumes will be of interest to the reference library of

the jade connoisseur. Most of these I have enjoyed reading and re-reading over the years.


The Forbidden City. Geremie R. Barme. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass. 2008.


Don’t be fooled by the small size of this volume! It provides a well written account of the QL Emperor’s daily life within the Forbidden City. Very interesting and insightful.


Chinese Jade, Stone for the Emperors. Barry Till & Paula Swart. Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. 1986.


A well researched ands readable account of the chronology of jade worked from the neolithic through Qing Dynasty. There is an interesting chapter on Jade smuggling during the Qing Dynasty.


The Last Emperors- A Social History of Qing Imperial Institutions. Evelyn S. Rawski.

University of California Press. 1998.


This account of the lives of the and organization of the Court is an enjoyable read!

Just about anything written by Dr. Rawski is useful and informative.


China’s Last Empire- The Great Qing. William T. Rowe. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Mass. 2009.


This volume is one of a series covering the vast history of China. Somewhat of the dry side of the literature about the Qing Court, there are flashes of interesting nuggets of useful information.


Translucent World: Chinese Jade from the Forbidden City. Yang Liu, Edward Capon et al. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney Australia. 2007.


A well written, informative and attractive catalogue of a collection of Jades exhibited in 2007.


Splendors of China’s Forbidden City- The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong.

Chuimei Ho & Bennet Bronson. The Field Museum. 2004.

This is a lavishly produced catalogue for the Exhibition held in 2004. Informative and the objects chosen are representative of the QL Emperor’s Life style.


Daily Life in the Forbidden City. Wan Yi Wang & lu Yanzhen. Viking Press. 1985.

A difficult book to find. Authoritatively written account of the history of the Forbidden City with excellent photography. Buy it if you can find it!



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