The concubines of Xuanzong

Tang Xuanzong 唐玄宗 (685-762; r. 712-756) was one of the most famous emperors of the Chinese Tang dynasty. He was chiefly known in Japan from the lengthy poem by Bai Juyi 白居易 (772–846), the ‘Song of Everlasting Sorrow’ (長恨歌), which recounted the emperor’s love for his concubine, Yang Guifei 楊貴妃 (719-756), and his grief after her death. Xuanzong reputedly had large numbers of concubines, but neglected them for Yang – the assocications, therefore, are of bitter loneliness and jealousy.

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