In "My Lady of the Chinese Courtyard," Elizabeth Cooper offers the reader a translation of two series of letters by Kwei-li, the wife of a high-rank Chinese official.
The first series is addressed to her husband whilst he is on a world tour with Prince Chung in the late 19th century.
The second series of letters is from 25 years later and are addressed to her mother-in-law. Political intrigue is raging in China and the country is on the verge of a revolution.
With these letters, Cooper hoped to "give a faint idea of the life of a Chinese lady," "a woman who had by education and environment exceptional opportunities to learn of the modern world, but who, like every Eastern woman, clings with almost desperate tenacity to the traditions and customs."
Elizabeth Cooper, born Eslick (1877-1945) was an America author. Originally born in Homer, Iowa, she spent most of her adult life in Asia, and dedicated much of her work to the depiction of life, especially women’s, in countries such as China, Egypt, Turkey and Japan. Some her work includes: "My Lady of the Chinese Courtyard," "Drusilla With a Million," and "Living up to Billy."