Empress Wu

Issue #140 of The Medieval Magazine includes an extensive interview with me about the life and times of Empress Wu, an ideal choice for a “Villains” special… or is she…?

“If we de-sex the story for a moment, what have we got? A leader without a mandate is desperately trying to hang onto power, while millionaires
behind the scenes try to exert their influence and stay in charge. But the Tang dynasty was incredibly fragile. It was only founded six years before Wu was born, and Taizong had to stab his way to the throne-room. Gaozong suffered a terrible attack in 660, perhaps a stroke or some form of multiple sclerosis, and Wu (still in her thirties) became his ‘interpreter’ for the next twenty years, telling the court what Gaozong was mumbling to her.”

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