董小宛

明末秦淮名妓董小宛與名公子冒辟疆相戀,惜豫王洪承疇貪戀小宛美色,以反清鐵證挾持辟疆,小宛被迫就範,與辟疆分開。後來,清廷順治帝密謀從文太后手中奪回政權,並將對豫王不利。太監科爾提議豫王把小宛獻給順治帝,討其歡心。初時小宛不肯失節於異族清廷,後來念及廣大漢民福祉,遂順從順治帝,並圖勸諫他除去洪承疇及科爾。可惜計畫卻遭科爾竊聽,洪承疇先下手為強,向太后進讒,小宛反被太后貶往佛寺修行。她往佛寺途中得悉辟疆離世,大受打擊,更自此一病不起。臨終彌留之際,小宛勸勉順治帝積極朝政,最後順治也按著她的遺願重掌政權。



Romance of the Forbidden City /Dong Xiaowan

Dong Xiaowan is one of the most famous courtesans at the River Qinhuai during the last years of the Ming Dynasty. She is in love with Mao Pijiang, one of the best-known socialites of the time. Soon after the Manchus take over the throne, Hong Chengchou, a minister closely connected with Prince Yu, lusts forXiaowan’s beauty and so persecutes Pijiang. To justify his actions, he claims that Piajiang is rebelling against Manchu rule.

 

Later, Emperor Shunzhi plots to reclaim the rule from the Empress Dowager Wen and to act against PrinceYu. At the eunuch Ke’er’s suggestion, Prince Yu arranges an affair for the Emperor with Xiaowan in order to gain his favor. Xiaowan strongly refuses at first but then assents for the interest of her countrymen. Alone with Shunzhi,she recommends the elimination of Hong and Ke’er. Unfortunately, Ke’er learns that.Hong then slanders Xiaowan in front of the empress dowager, who banishes the woman to a Buddhist temple. On her way to the temple, Xiaowan is deeply depressed and then falls ill when she learns ofPijiang’s death. On her deathbed, Xiaowan advises and encourages the emperor to take back his power.Shunzhi accepts her advice and reclaims control of the country.