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Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine Paperback – January 6, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 291 pages
  • Publisher: Three Clover Press; 1st edition (January 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981955312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981955315
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,107,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

--Honorable Mentions in General Fiction
2009 Los Angeles Book Festival
2009 Nashville Book Festival
2009 London Book Festival
2009 DIY Book Festival


Our Hart hits the ground running and only reprises that earlier novel in quick asides.... fine and tightly controlled novel. -- Reviewed by Steve Donoghu
--Historical Novel Society (May 2010)

As Historical Fiction books go, this is without doubt one of the best I have read in 2009, and my guess is that it is going to surpass the success that the author had with My Splendid Concubine.
--Simon Barrett, Blogger News Network

Our Hart is...a historical novel in the finest tradition, where one cannot be sure what is real and what is fiction...a most unconventional, and poignant, love story.
--John H. Manhold from FascinatingAuthors.com

Historical fiction potboiler, yes. But where the `Concubine' saga truly shines is its thought-provoking passages on relationships, attitudes and cultural differences.
--Tom Carter, author of China: Portrait of a People

From the Author

Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine, the sequel to My Splendid Concubine, continues the love story that Robert Hart did not want the world to discover. It is well known that behind every great man, there is a woman. In Robert's case, that woman was his concubine, Ayaou. She remained a mystery for more than a century. Robert arrived in China in 1854. By 1908, he was the godfather of China's modernization. The Ch'ing Dynasty called him Our Hart. --Three Clover Press

More About the Author

Little did Lloyd Lofthouse know in 1999, when he married Anchee Min, that he was beginning a journey of discovery. His first trip to The Middle Kingdom was on the honeymoon with his bride, who introduced him to China and Robert Hart (1835-1911), the main characters in Lloyd's first two novels, My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart. The next decade was a journey of discovery. Lloyd now lives near San Francisco with his wife--with a second home in Shanghai, China.

Lloyd earned a BA in journalism in 1973 after fighting in Vietnam as a U.S. Marine. While working days as an English teacher, he enjoyed a second job as a maitre d' in a multimillion-dollar nightclub. His short story, A Night at the 'Well of Purity' was named as a finalist for the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards.



Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
The book was a really quick read for me, and one by which I was completely captivated the whole way through.
A. Greenwald
I love how much history of 1850's China I came away with from reading this novel as well as learning more about the customs and traditions of this country.
Darlene
Just as our protagonist has matured, `Our Hart' the novel is also a more mature read than its predecessor My Splendid Concubine.
Thomas Carter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By corin kagan on March 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As someone who has been to China 3 times - and has llived in the area, I am a China history buff and this filled the bill for giving a picture of an era and its peoplesw... plus I read the first volume, so it really filled the picture of an era, a person, and the culture and made it complete
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A. Greenwald on May 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
Robert Hart began as a humble British interpreter who, throughout his time in China in the 19th century, came to love and embrace this culture so different from his own Irish roots. Over the years he grew to really understand the Confucian and Taoist principles of honor and piety, and the Chinese took notice of his devotion to their values and culture. Hart's love of and genuine respect for the Chinese customs and way of life set him apart from the other "foreign devils" whose only goals were to manipulate and hoodwink the Chinese in order to make a profit.

Hart rose in rank as an interpreter and soon found himself promoted to work for the Chinese as a local inspector of customs, eventually to become the Inspector General of China's Imperial Maritime Custom Service. Hart recognized that in order to succeed in his role as a virtual go-between for the two nations, he must always handle any issue with the utmost poise and finesse. He often found himself surrounded by peers and superiors who did not demonstrate the same level of respect towards the Chinese as he did. Many of the British saw the Chinese as barbarian heathens who needed to be converted to Christianity, and it took a lot of restraint on his part to hold his tongue where his ignorant superiors were concerned.

Hart's ability to smooth over tricky political situations and his growing reputation as a man who was true to his word eventually caught the attention of the Dynasty, and in particular, the brother of the emperor, Prince Kung.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alexandria on April 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked this book, but expected more of the human story, less of the war details and so my attention wandered throughout the book.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Carter on March 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
Sir Robert Hart, as reimagined by author Lloyd Lofthouse, was never meant to be a hero. He is an admittedly flawed man with vices and sins: he likes his women, and he even steals concubines from his friends.

But Hart's coming-of-age during his prurient first years in China, as described in My Splendid Concubine has matured him. In Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine, passion has been replaced by piety while the lust of the first novel has been lost to love.

Just as our protagonist has matured, `Our Hart' the novel is also a more mature read than its predecessor My Splendid Concubine. From bedroom complexities to political complexities; from the weight of a young concubine in Robert Hart's arms to the weight of an ancient empire on his shoulders, `Our Hart' is divided by romantic drama and political intrigue.

Lofthouse writes: "The world turned black and white with occasional violent flashes...there was no color in his life." Indeed, `Our Hart' is a dark novel intent on capturing the despondent spirit of an outsider immersed in a brutal period of Chinese history.

Historical fiction potboiler, yes. But where the `Concubine' saga truly shines is its thought-provoking passages on relationships, attitudes and cultural differences. The heated dialogue between Hart and Ayaou brilliantly described in Chapter 13 of `Our Hart' will especially touch a nerve for any westerner who has ever lived and loved in China: "Understanding her behavior didn't stop him from resenting it."

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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Arlene R. Schiek on April 14, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I downloaded the kindle versions of the concubine sagas and found the editing on both "Our Hart" and "Elegy for a Concubine" was the worst I've come across in quite a while. Although the story was well told ...along the lines of Pearl Buck...the sloppy editing of grammar and spelling were truly annoying. The extent of the errors was so extensive that I found myself hi-lighting and making notes as if it were a high school essay. Hopefully someone will go back through and make corrections eventually.
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By Retired Librarian on November 7, 2014
Format: Paperback
Interesting history
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cherry Smith-Greve on March 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read all the Hart series books by Lloyd Lofthouse and have enjoyed each and every one of them.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
There are fathers of modernization for every country, and China's may well be an Irishman. "Our Hart" is a follow up to Lloyd Lofthouse's previous novel, 'My Splendid Concubine'. Historical fiction, Lofthouse tells the story of Robert Hart, the man responsible for China reinventing itself in the nineteenth century and how modern China purged him from the history books when the Communists took over. "Our Hart" is a unique and entertaining read, recommended.
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