Quang Trung: The Tay Son uprising and the role played by Le Ngoc Han
By Mike Lord
The Tay Son uprising, removing the Nguyen and Trinh dynasties, defeating the invaders from Siam, and then the massive Tsing invasion from Beijing, and unifying the country. Princess Le Ngoc Han is married to the Tay Son leader, who declares himself Emperor Quang Trung to defeat the Tsing. Following popular agricultural and educational reforms, Quang Trung dies suddenly, aged 40, and his widow laments writing some beautiful and stirring poetry.
Vietnam is in the news again, so let’s hope it does not revert to this: At the end of the 18th century villagers in Vietnam were in revolt against the oppression, land seizure and hardship caused by feudal landlords. Three brothers from a small village, Tay Son in the south of the Vietnam start an insurgency movement and begin by overthrowing the corrupt Nguyen dynasty in the south, and then the rotten Trinh dynasty in the north, but they remained subservient to the Le Emperor in Thanh Long (Ha Noi today). One of the brothers, Nguyen Hue, showed great aptitude for military action, and defeated the 20,000 invaders sent by the monarchy in Siam, in the Mekong delta who had been summoned by the sole surviving prince of the defeated Nguyen dynasty. The Le Emperor gives his youngest daughter, Princess Le Ngoc Han, in marriage to Nguyen Hue and they move the capital city to Phu Xuan (now Hue city). Shortly after the Le Emperor in Thanh Long dies, and his son takes over as Emperor, assuming he can ignore the Tay Son movement. He is removed and flees to Beijing to meet the Manchu Tsing Emperor, whom he persuades to restore him as Emperor. The Manchu Tsing Emperor, Kien-Lung, who with visions of restoring Vietnam as colony of China, appoints Governor Ton Si-Nghi (Soun Che-y) with a 200,000 strong Tsing invading force. Nguyen Hue declares himself Emperor Quang Trung and he leads the Tay Son troops who move quickly to Thanh Long and they defeat the Tsing invaders in just a few days, cementing the position of Quang Trung as a supreme military leader. Emperor Quang Trung begins both agricultural and educational reform, supported and advised by his knowledgeable wife, but he dies suddenly aged just under 40. The grieving Empress lives only seven years longer herself, but writes some of the most stirring and beautiful poetry about her love for the Emperor, still aged only 29.
Books by Mike Lord
by Mike Lord
The twenty three chapters in the manuscript are anecdotes of things that really happened in various locations during those years. Some are funny but others are shocking and alarming. One chapter relates to a flight in a DC3 from Singapore to England in 1952, followed by a real life by shocking visit to Benin State in Nigeria during the Biafran war, and the third during work on a project in Libya.
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The story is set in 5th Century Sri Lanka – Taprobane as it was then called. A princess from Eritrea becomes the fourth wife of the Raja of Taprobane. The story relates her journey by land and sea, escorted by her brother, from Assaba to Puttulam, and their adventures on the way, even being attacked by pirates! The story continues with her marriage, and her life in the rock fortress of Sinagiri, meaning Lion Rock (nowadays called Singirya).
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A tale of international intrigue set in the glorious ranch land of Rhodesia in the early 20th Century. A young veterinary surgeon is faced with management of a large herd of cattle, but the ranch is suddenly plagued with veldt fires, poisoning, stampede, flooding and even attempted murder.
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