To the Chinese, Hsi Wang Mu is the Queen Mother of the West (Western China), an important figure of Chinese mythology.
It is believed that the myth of the Queen Mother goes back almost three thousand years, but the earliest recorded history was found from the Chou Dynasty (1122 – 222 BC) and was written in the second century BC. It appears she may have been a real queen of a Western Chinese state and stories of her life become legend over hundreds of years turning into magical myths.
One of the older stories is about Hsi Wang Mu and the celestial archer, where she asks him to build her a palace of jade in the western sky. His reward was a pill made from the peaches of immortality, which ends in tragedy and heartbreak.
It is said that Hsi Wang Mu had nine sons and twenty-four daughters with her mate, Tung Wang Kung.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.
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