Hue was the Imperial Capital of Vietnam from 1802 until August 1945, when the last Nguyen Emperor Bao Dai handed over his Royal Seal and Sword of Mandate to representatives of the new President Ho Chi Minh.
With an authoritative and lively text by Vietnamese-British historian Dr Vu Hong Lien and evocative photography by Paisarn Piemmettawat, Royal Hue traces the development of this magnificent Imperial Capital, from its humble origin in the 14th century to its current status as a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site.
From chapter to chapter, the book takes its readers through the turbulent 143 years of Nguyen rule, more than half of it in the shadow of the French ‘Protectorate’ Authority. Through historical documents and extra information given by the Nguyen Royal Family themselves, Royal Hue describes in details the Nguyen lifestyle, the food they ate, the clothes the Emperors and their courtiers wore, the games that the royals played, the collections of arts they created and enjoyed.
The book ended with a lavish explanation about the Nguyen philosophy of life and death and decodes the messages that the royal departed displayed at their mausoleums in the Valley of the Tombs.