For more than six centuries, the Forbidden City has awed all those who have travelled from near and far to explore its 900 golden-roofed buildings, set amid moats, gardens, and plazas, where thousands of people lived and worked in service of the world’s largest and most sophisticated pre-modern empire. Marco Polo called it “the greatest Palace that ever was;” Simon Leys praised its architectural genius; and Franz Kafka viewed it as an impressive yet alarming symbol of power.
In this compelling addition to Assouline’s Ultimate Collection, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ian Johnson guides readers through the magnificent and storied palace built by China’s Yongle Emperor to serve as the seat of the Ming dynasty. Weaving in history and events of the past six centuries and featuring more than 100 photographs, artworks, and historical artifacts, this luxury tome conjures life in this imperial sphere—a small city unto itself, in which soldiers, eunuchs, concubines, and merchants resided alongside the royalty they served. A stunning homage to the grand beauty of one of the most complex structures in all of history, Forbidden City reveals that 600 years after its construction, this royal monument endures as the physical and spiritual heart of Chinese civilization. This volume is presented in a regal, glossy red box reminiscent of traditional Chinese lacquerware, and that features a delicately carved map of the Forbidden City’s grounds.
An impressive and magnificent addition to any library, this book also comes with a limited edition vibrant yellow Assouline tote as well as white gloves to keep it pristine.
Ian Johnson is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books and The New York Times; his work has also appeared in The New Yorker and National Geographic. During more than twenty years of working in China he has won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting and the Shorenstein lifetime achievement award for covering Asia. An advising editor for The Journal of Asian Studies, he also teaches university courses on religion and society at the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies. He is the author of three books that focus on the intersection of politics and religion: Wild Grass: Three Stories of Change in China; A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, The CIA, and The Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West; and The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao. Ian currently resides in Beijing.
- 200 pages
- over 100 illustrations
- English language
- Released in January 2021
- W 35.5 x L 42 x D 8.1 cm
- Handcrafted edition in a red lacquered glossy clamshell case
- ISBN: 9781614289265
- 9.072 kg
- About Assouline Publishing:
Since its beginnings in 1994, Assouline has been dedicated to creating books that are as informational as they are beautiful works of art. The respect for the product and the process of creation is evident in every facet – the traditional technique of hand-binding covers, the imagery that transports the reader to another place and time, the luxurious thickness of each page. The passion and the attention to detail are like that of an haute couture atelier.
Known worldwide for bringing luxury to the publishing industry, Assouline produces one-of-a-kind books on fashion, art, architecture, photography, design, and travel, weaving a story of L’Art de Vivre with every publication. The Ultimate Collection is the epitome of the Assouline brand as it offers an unparalleled standard of excellence in the 21st century. Each book from the collection pays homage to the time-honored craft of bookbinding and pictures are individually hand-tipped, a process which requires cutting, gluing, and placing each photo onto the page. This level of craftsmanship yields the highest quality books in the world, truly pieces of art in their own right.