Elephants and Golden Thrones
Trish Marx and Ellen B. Senisi, Abrams, 2008
The Forbidden City, also known as the Royal Palace Museum in China, was home to China’s emperors for over 500 years. Elephants and Golden Thrones (done in collaboration with children’s book author Trish Marx) has the look of a coffee table book but it also has a solid and accurate text of interesting stories of true people who once lived in the palace. The book was done in cooperation with the Forbidden City and includes an introduction by its Executive Deputy Director. The manuscript was also vetted by four academic experts in Chinese history and culture.
About half the images in the book were selected by Ellen B. Senisi from Forbidden City archives as she was allowed behind the scenes to search the image archives in this phenomenal historical palace complex of over 8,000 rooms. The other half of the photos were taken by her in China as she sought out the legacy of the Forbidden City in modern-day China. The associated symbols and traditions of the Forbidden City are indeed alive and well on the streets of China today.
With its intriguing stories about some of its previous colorful inhabitants and its gorgeous photos, this book is a pleasurable way to delve into the history and culture of this increasingly important world power.
Available in Hardcover ($18.95)
Available through regular trade book channels, including The Open Door Bookstore, indiebound.org, amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.