Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.98 shipping
The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire Paperback – Illustrated, March 1, 2011
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
About the Author
- Item Weight : 9.4 ounces
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0307407160
- Product dimensions : 5.17 x 0.69 x 7.98 inches
- Publisher : Broadway Books; Illustrated edition (March 1, 2011)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #100,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Have you ever seen the movie, Genghis Khan, with Stephen Boyd? I saw it years ago and laughed at one scene, where one of his warriors tried to carry off a woman, and Genghis Khan said no, that will not be allowed. I thought it was a fictional attempt to make the character more likeable. Imagine my surprise reading this book – it was true.
Genghis Khan was not a kind and gentle man, but he believed in balances in nature and in life, and he appreciated the important contributions made by women in his life. In fact, his mother’s family and his first wife’s family were much kinder to him than his father’s family. He also felt his life had been saved by the female forces in nature.
GK groomed his daughters to rule kingdoms, marrying them off to kings and princes, but insisting the daughters be in charge. For the most part, they served him well, in fact, better than his sons.
After his death, the story of how women were viewed by the Mongol rulers varies greatly. There are some serious ups and downs. In some cases, women were treated horribly, viciously. However, a few of the queens became renowned and their legends are still told in Mongolia today.
This is a fascinating book.
I have to say that my first reaction to the pen and brush drawings was delight. I was impressed with the apparent simplicity, the grace, and the essence and skill of the drawings--so much so, that I have thought about taking them from the book and putting them in simple frames to hang side by side. I have never felt this way before about an illustration.
Afer reading the acknowledgments, I am even more impressed! They are 'name-drawings!' That is, the brushstrokes not only capture the essence of the queen, but her name is also included, coded, into the drawing. Now that is remarkable! And it makes the illustration even more important and impressive. The cover is, to me, appropriate, and well done. Since the book is about the Mongol Queens, it depicts perhaps the greatest/most powerful/effective of them. She has abandoned her headdress and put on a warrior's helmet. She is horseback, as a warrior had to be, and she is in the act of firing her arrow. It says so many important things about her.
I don't want to insult the reviewer who was disappointed in the drawings, but I surely think that these are superb and support the book beautifully. I liked the drawings anyway a lot!) but reading the acknowledgements gave me great appreciation of them.
While I was intrigued by the title, there’s just too little concrete evidence to support the role of women in the Mongolian empire. While women likely had much more influence, as they did in every empire on Earth behind the scenes, it’s unlikely they were as powerful as the author makes them out to be.
Top reviews from other countries
Weatherford next looks into various other powerful women in the area, in the tradition of those early daughters of Genghis Khan. Finally he explores the life, rule and legacy of Manduhai Khatun – whom I had not come across before – but who proves to be a very clever woman indeed.
En passant he deals with how the later Mongol empire related to its neighbours and Europe.
He has had access to many more documents than the ‘Secret History of the Mongols’ (to which his title pays homage) and has chased his Mongolian queens through many primary sources. These sources become more plentiful as the centuries roll on, writing becomes more common and documents proliferate.
The brushwork illustrations of Mongol queens in all their finery at the beginning of each section are a real delight (and quite different from the rather androgynous archer on the front cover).
There is a good bibliography and serviceable index.
First published 2010.