The Eunuchs in the Ming Dynasty

The Eunuchs in the Ming Dynasty

3.5 (14 ratings by Goodreads)

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


This book is the first on Chinese eunuchs in English and presents a comprehensive picture of the role that they played in the Ming dynasty, 1368-1644. Extracted from a wide range of primary and secondary source material, the author provides significant and interesting information about court politics, espionage and internal security, military and foreign affairs, tax and tribute collection, the operation of imperial monopolies, judiciary review, the layout of the palace complex, the Grand Canal, and much more. The eunuchs are shown to be not just a minor adjunct to a government of civil servants and military officers, but a fully developed third branch of the Ming administration that participated in all of the most essential matters of the dynasty. The veil of condemnation and jealousy imposed on eunuchs by the compilers of official history is pulled away to reveal a richly textured tapestry. Eunuchs are portrayed in a balanced manner that gives due consideration to able and faithful service along with the inept, the lurid, and the iniquitous.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 290 pages
  • 149.6 x 230.1 x 18mm | 421.46g
  • Albany, NY, United States
  • English
  • New
  • Total Illustrations: 0
  • 0791426882
  • 9780791426883
  • 1,201,238

Review quote

"This book is a detailed and intellectually sophisticated study of Ming eunuchs that illuminates the entire history of the Ming. The author is aware of the systematic anti-eunuch prejudice of the sources (all composed by civil officials), and has adopted a critical stance throughout. This has permitted him to assess objectively the achievements of the eunuchs and to let them 'speak for themselves' to the extent that the sources permit." -- Edward L. Dreyer, University of Miami
show more

About Shih-Shan Henry Tsai

Shih-shan Henry Tsai is Professor of History and Chairman of Asian Studies at the University of Arkansas.
show more

Rating details

14 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 21% (3)
4 36% (5)
3 29% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 14% (2)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X