Lament at Changmen Palace


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A long time later, I began to understand the value of a golden palace.

If Wei Zifu loved you, then her story could only have ended the way mine did.

People often said that the limits of love lay in one’s ability to endure – to endure the fact that the man we loved would have three wives and four concubines.

Wei Zifu managed to tolerate. So, she accompanied you by your side for thirty-eight years.

She could accomplish this because she did not love you.

All along, what she wanted was never love.

If, from the beginning, all I wanted was only the precious throne belonging to an Empress, perhaps I would not have lost you as quickly as I had.

Note: This oneshot narrates the true story between Emperor Han Wudi (Liu Che) and his first wife, the deposed Empress Chen Jiao. Their story has been encapsulated into a famous chinese idiom called “金屋藏娇” (jīn wū cáng jiāo), which literally means ‘putting (Chen) Jiao into a golden house’.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Changmen Yuan
Lament at Changmen Palace
Lament at Long Gate Palace
Related Series
Ballad of Ten Thousand Gu (2)
Beauty to Ashes (2)
I Couldn’t Ask (2)
Flowers of Love (1)
Mulberry Song (1)
An Appointment of a Lifetime (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Recommended C-Novel
  2. Sob stories
  3. Lidos
  4. my tears ricochet
  5. Fantasy Recommendation

Latest Release

Date Group Release
10/07/17 catharcity oneshot
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19 Reviews sorted by

milkandbiscuits rated it
October 8, 2017
Status: Completed
I've heard about Chen Jiao's story before, since Han Wudi was one of the more famous Emperors in the Han dynasty..

This short story is unique in the sense that it takes the perspective of the deposed Empress Chen Jiao, instead of Wei Zifu, unlike many dramas. I used to think Chen Jiao deserved what she got for her jealousy and for practicing witchcraft, but there was a paragraph in this story:

"So I never once told you that it was Wei Zifu who framed me for practicing witchcraft.

I had been wronged... more>> beyond salvation, and you were convinced that I was the mastermind."

Two sentences. The evidence against Chen Jiao in history was damnable, but in this story, she did not attempt to explain how she was wronged, and the reason is simple but tragic. Because even she herself was unable to redress her injustice, having been 'wronged beyond salvation'.

Makes me wonder if later generations had been too harsh upon her. Her life story is tragic... Was it Chen Jiao's fault that she could not produce an heir? Yet she had to live with the consequences, to watch as newer and younger women won Han Wudi's favour...

Overall a short but interesting story in narrating the story of Chen Jiao. This story would be more poignant for those familiar with their histories. <<less
37 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
ByleeM rated it
April 26, 2020
Status: c1
  • Women in Ancient China did not have the luxury of love. I think arranged marriages were the few decent things that society gave to them. In that way atleast they wouldnt love the man who condemn them to a life of scheming and pretending just to find a path to survival.
  • Imagine loving someone and watching them sleep with other women, those women who scheme against you and kill your children or cause you to be barren or feed him lies and have your wifely status removed along with your head if you're unlucky. yet society would expect you to love that kind of man, honor him... can you truly not resent him? He who is indirectly responsible for your suffering?
  • Wei Zifu was cleverer than Chen Jiao in this aspect. She did not go into that shidding with love or marriage on her brain. She went to it as if she was a general heading to war, she came from a humble background and knew how to scheme, grovel, act, please and do whatever necessary to survive; while Poor Chen Jiao was raised like a pearl and had an idiot princess for a mother who never tought her anything worth learning
  • She never learned to fight like a dog and that's probably why she died like one. A by product of an unfortunate society with her greatest crime being loving her husband in a period where love was a loaded gun with bullets in every chamber but 1. She's so pitiful, even to her death but what can you say? To the victor goes the spoils and she lost the game.
28 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Abi rated it
October 7, 2017
Status: oneshot
It's a short, tragically beautiful story narrating the life of a deposed empress, what lead to her demise, and what happened afterwards. She is portrayed as a simple woman who's only fault was loving a man (the emperor). The emperor isn't a 2D character, and his weakness (love) was what led to the tragic ending. It's a beautiful story, but it was so short it ended before I could even really get emotionally invested in it. The translation is very good, and the story flows well.
14 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Jevanka926 rated it
May 17, 2018
Status: oneshot
Such a beautiful historical fiction. People always see the deposed empress as an evil. But, what if there is something behind it?
11 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
lazyasianscientist rated it
May 20, 2020
Status: Completed
the way the author and translator depicted the story beautifully.

Im kinda sad now. I was actively looking for angst but damn this is so sad in a beautiful way.

What's worse that this was based on a true story and a real person. Mannn and that emperor in history was praised as a wise emperor. History is truly cruel to those that didn't have voices
9 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Empress M rated it
December 1, 2019
Status: Completed
It’s already sad by itself, if it were fictional. The fact that it’s actually REAL just made it even sadder, with a hint of pity for Chen Jiao.

Im actually rather happy to be born in the modern era, where human lives have more importance, and there are laws, instead of ancient times.

Killing? Common. Laws? It’s there, but not as significant as now.

Yeah, I’m happy where I am.

6 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
iRead rated it
May 1, 2020
Status: Completed
Left me blue and sad and wanting to learn more about this deposed Empress. May she rest in peace
5 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
mochispinky rated it
January 17, 2021
Status: --

Thinking that it's a fiction and feeling bad is one thing, but knowing that it was someone's reality is painful.

I have read stories about WZF and her amazing story of dancer-empress journey, however no one ever spoke one good thing about the empress CJ. Even the famous idiom somehow feels like a sarcasm.

History says she really did take part in witchcraft and she was deposed. Later the same fate fell upon WZF, but the only difference was, she had her husband, her family to later trust and clear her name.... more>> But CJ never had anything or anyone who trusted her, once she became the empress.

She, who was the mother of the country had nothing. Imagine the pain. No wonder she tried all means to gain something (anything) ! <<less
4 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Bookworm_Sueweetie rated it
June 17, 2020
Status: Completed
Knowing the real story about the characters, I can't help but dislike the Emperor. I think that the MC could have a better life if she only married the former Crown Prince Liu Rong.
4 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Anagnorizien rated it
April 18, 2020
Status: Completed
The fact that this is based on a true story makes it all the more moving. The author has taken a fresh take on the classic story and convinced me to love a character portrayed by others as the villainess.
4 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
SilentWatch83 rated it
July 12, 2018
Status: Completed
Sad and poignant.

A very good alternative view.

Very flowing, smooth translation! The bitterness of a deposed, abandoned woman, and the multiple layers of intrigues that always existed in such situations.
4 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
hikaoru rated it
May 18, 2018
Status: --
this story (which the translator told that this one's ending is too far from the real story), is narrating the life of an Empress who loved her husband as a man and not as an Emperor. Looking at the story side, the Emperor realized he loved her after she died. On the historical side, the emperor didn't really love her and had another empress and concubines as if she didn't exist.

the author tried to give justice to MC's jealousy that their history is only decided by the victors, since the... more>> girl that replaced her was the one who tainted her reputation and together the emperor indirectly killed her.

the realization of being in the throne, once you fall in love, you are the loser. She had seen it with the previous prince and later suffered from it.

i hope that she reincarnated and meet her fated one and live happily together. <<less
3 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Aurora123 rated it
January 3, 2018
Status: one shot
I cried. I really did great story I dont know if it well get out of my mind this story is so great even though it is so tragic I mean in the beginning I thought I dont want drama and something so heavy so I was hesitating but then when I read it to the end I started crying I mean I couldnt get it out of my mind and just thinking that this might have happened in real life or it could have happened already really breaks my... more>> heart and this line when she says "in the end our love was built from carelessness" or something like that I was so so broken hearted but I still recommend this novel I hope they can do more of it <<less
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Xian-laoshi rated it
July 23, 2020
Status: Completed
Allow me to heave a deep sigh first.

Sighs deeply

This novel shows that wealth can never match the happiness brought by love for a sincere, pure woman.

My heart squeezed as I read it. My tears kept on falling. My chest couldn't help but gasp as I muffled my sorrowful cries.

The words were joined in order to form a beautiful tragedy, filled with longing and sorrow.

For a lady who yearned for a pure, true love, yet received only broken promises, my heart aches for the deposed Empress.
2 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
tedy2004 rated it
June 10, 2020
Status: oneshot
This is so sad... wish Chen Jiao would run away from there and at least fall in love with a normal man if not then becoming a nun....????? TAT....
2 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Keisotsuna rated it
May 2, 2018
Status: --
It's heartbreaking to read the Empress Chen Jiao's perspective. I cried so much reading this. Although short, the emotions showed in ever sentence stabs you deep in the heart.

At the same time, the story also showed the reality — albeit, a cruel and tragic one — of the struggles and lives of women in the Imperial Harem many years ago.
2 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
August 22, 2021
Status: oneshot
Don't go into this if you don't want a good cry.

It will make you cry, definitely, if you are super emotional, like me.

This is the tale of a woman who should be Empress for all her days. Instead, she was tossed aside and abandoned by the man who had always said she would be his chief priority for a cheap floozy with honeyed words he favored, who framed the true Empress, accusing her of witchcraft, which carried a terrible outcome.

The true outcome is horrific. This is told from her pov... more>> and it is heartwrenching.

The outcome is gutting. The fact this is based on a true story is appalling. <<less
1 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Hirose88 rated it
September 4, 2020
Status: oneshot
I once watched this chinese drama called “The Virtuous Empress of Han” and it was telling the same story but Chen Jiao was the villain as history was written. I was so fond to this series that I rewatched them twice, it was a great series, you would probably loved them too. However, today I read Chen Jiao’s part, I weep for her loneliness and undying love, in a way it made me sympathize for her. I am glad to read this wonderful pieces today, It brought me a new... more>> perspective on character deemed as villain in history could have such tragic background. I understand that this was a work of fiction, but even so, I still cherished this story. <<less
1 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Hazel00 rated it
March 28, 2020
Status: Completed

Amazing writing and makes me wonder, what is the truth of what happened. Did Chen Jiao really use witchcraft and created something similar to vodoo doll, to make the Emperor mad in love with her, that is what I learned somewhere before, or she is just innocent and accused. As she didn't really care about the position of an Empress and didn't fought with the new lady for it. And since she's been "wronged beyond salvation", she just want the Emperor come to her palace.

1 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
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