Zhenfei and Zhenfei Well

Zhenfei and Zhenfei WellZhenfei was the daughter of Tatala Zhangxu, an official of the Ministry of Rites in the Qing Dynasty. She was born in 1867, and was the favourite concubine of Qing Emperor Guangxu. In 1888, she was chosen to come to the palace together with her elder sister (later given the honurable title of Jingfei, meaning: the Brilliant Concubine). She was given the honourable title of Zhenfei (Pearl Concubine) in 1894. She was fond of painting and calligraphy and was ambidexterous, able to write with either hand. So she was deeply loved by Emperor Guangxu.

But, because she supported the Emperor’s political views, she was constantly persecuted by Empress Dowager Cixi. Zhenfei was beaten and demoted in 1894, and was put under house arrest in the Forbidden City in 1898 after the Reform Movement was suppressed by the Empress Dowager. Finally she was thrown into the well (now called “Zhenfei Well”) behind Leshoutang (the Hall of Pleasure and Longevity) in 1900 at the command of Empress Dowager Cixi. Zhenfei died at the age of 24.

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