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My Splendid Concubine by [Lofthouse, Lloyd]
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My Splendid Concubine Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 641 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description

First came "My Splendid Concubine" December 2007; then came the sequel "Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine" in 2010. Both novels have now been combined as one in "My Splendid Concubine’s" 3rd edition.

Robert Hart (1835 - 1911) was the 'Godfather of China's modernism' and the only foreigner the emperor of China trusted. In fact, Hart played a crucial role in ending the bloodiest rebellion in history—the Taiping Rebellion—and he owes this success largely to Ayaou, his live-in dictionary and encyclopedia, his Chinese concubine.

About a year after arriving in China in 1854, Robert Hart falls in love with Ayaou, but his feelings for her sister go against the teachings of his Wesleyan-Christian upbringing and almost breaks him emotionally. To survive he must learn how to live and think like the Chinese and soon finds himself thrust into China’s Opium War, where he makes enemies of men such as the American soldier of fortune known as the Devil Soldier.

"My Splendid Concubine's" 1st and 2nd editions earned honorable mentions in general fiction at the 2008 London Book Festival; the 2009 Hollywood Book Festival and the 2009 San Francisco Book Festival.

"Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine" earned honorable mentions in general fiction at the 2009 Los Angeles Book Festival; 2009 Nashville Book Festival; 2009 London Book Festival, 2009 DIY Book Festival and was a Finalist of the National Best Books 2010 Awards in historical fiction.

"My Splendid Concubine’s" 3rd edition [formerly "The Concubine Saga"] picked up honorable mentions in fiction at the 2012 San Francisco Book Festival; the 2012 New York Book Festival, and the 2012 London Book Festival.

The Midwest Book Review says, "Many nations adopted modernism in their own ways. 'The Concubine Saga' is a historical fiction novel from Lloyd Lofthouse, following famed modernizer Robert Hart, a man who has contributed greatly to China's advance in the nineteenth century, gaining much power and influence for a foreigner during the period. Drawing on heavily researched passages with great dramatization, 'The Concubine Saga' is a strong pick for historical fiction collections, highly recommended."

* Warning: The first-half of this novel contains graphic-sexual content that reflects Robert Hart’s lifestyle while attending college and during his early years in China that may be considered soft-porn and offensive to some readers. If you think you might be offended, please do not buy and read this novel.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1804 KB
  • Print Length: 641 pages
  • Publisher: Three Clover Press; 3rd edition edition (1 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00578UNLG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #213,883 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I felt as though I was on the journey with Robert from start to finish,!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 302 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My Splendid Concubine 15 May 2014
By Richard L Beilby - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read the reviews and they bagged it. They also said it was salacious. Well, OK, it wasn't a masterpiece of style, and there was a bit of sexy cut and thrust but - hey - it kept me going. It was a great story, made all the better by being historically true. I know historical novels have to fictionalise somewhat, but it worked for me. For me it was a real page turner. And I learned something about Chinese history. Thanks Lloyd.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like "Shogun" but set in Imperial China. REALLY GOOD! 19 June 2014
By Joanna D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a huge surprise--Lloyd Lofthouse's novel about Robert Hart and Imperial China right after the Opium Wars is fascinating, dramatic and it's almost impossible to believe it was based on a real character because it reads like a blockbuster novel. Robert Hart, the main character was called the "Godfather of China's modernism." He arrived in China almost as a soldier of fortune, and ended up as a completely fluent, trusted advisor to the Chinese court and the British, having learned perfect Chinese but more importantly, the intricacies of the culture.

This book is a lot like "Shogun"--in fact, if you liked "Shogun", you'll probably enjoy this book. The themes are similar; an unbathed, barbaric Westerner becomes enchanted with the local women, falls in love, is repelled and confused by an alien culture, but immerses himself so deeply in the ways China that he becomes able to navigate the twisted channels and treacherous waters of Chinese diplomacy and court life. Instead of Japan. Bushido and the Tokugawa Shogunate, we have here the China's Qing Dynasty and the two regent empresses and the young emperor, and the vast Mandarin bureaucracy buttressed by Confucianism and Tao.

There is a lot of sex in this book, but it isn't simply for titillation; it shows Hart's total enchantment with China and the people in the person of Ayaou, his concubine. Her story and the story of how Hart won her is the personal side of a very interesting historical novel.

I couldn't put this book down. I hope Lloyd Lofthouse will write more.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A historical romance--with both good history and good romance. 4 January 2017
By David C. Hay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
From the title, you can expect a racy romance. Yes, that’s there. But more than that you get an interesting piece of history that most of us in the west know nothing about. China in the 19th century was a mystery to westerners, and those who visited were very clumsy and offensive to the Chinese.

An exception was a young Irishman named Robert Hart. From college, he got a job as an interpreter in the consulate in a suburb of Shanghai. He had learned some Chinese in college, but he took the job seriously and set out not only to master the various dialects, but also to master its culture, history, and arts. As a consequence, he was a master diplomat in a very trying environment, and the Chinese royalty appreciated his talents well beyond what might be expected. Ultimately, he not only reformed their customs practices (removing most of the corruption and bribes involved), but also established schools, the post office, and the railroads.

He was the single largest force for modernization of China in that era.

He’d been promiscuous in Ireland, and he left partly from embarrassment about that. On the other hand, when he encountered Chinese customs of treating women as servants to be used and thrown away, he was shocked and found it difficult to adapt. In that setting, he did find one concubine who stole his heart. He involvement with her and her sister is at the heart of this novelization of his life.

The book is a wonderful combination of an informative history of a truly exotic place, and a touching romance. The author does an outstanding job of presenting Chinese culture and history, the problems with its encounters with the West, and a very personal story of a young man exploring new worlds--both in geography and in personal life.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Killeecs review of My Splendid Concubine 16 June 2015
By Killeecs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I cannot recall reading a novel (and I have read at least 2,000+ in my lifetime) which has moved me as much as this one. Elements of this story made it a history lesson, treatise on cultural development, an examination of human nobility, human frailty, human shameful degradation, exciting military campaigns, mysteries, and clear definitions ofsubtlety of language, art and beliefs of China. The author did some serious "homework"prior to putting pen to paper.The hero was so richly described I felt history and fear, his angers, pains, shames, his appreciation of all that was admirable about China's culture. His concubine was a beautiful human all the way to her core. The depiction of China's evolution in the 54 years Robert Hartwas there mesmerized me. I spent time in China in 2004 and again in 2007. So many things in this novel brought back to life 100s of fond memories. I wish it had been possible for the author to continue the story to reunite Hart with his children and continue their story to a point of resolution of their awareness and respectful interaction with their father and awareness of respectful appreciation of their mother
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb View of the Middle Kingdom 16 August 2015
By Akamai Okole - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you want a book describing the woes of Imperial China in the closing years of the 19th century, this is your book. It has characters who are fully developed and riveting. It educates you on Chinese culture if you do not already know it (I did going in, and it was accurate.) It is tragic and poignant and aggravating all at once, in a good way. It does not sugar coat what the West did to China, nor should it. If you are a racist, or a white supremacist, don't read this book. It will not support your prejudices, and might be bad for your blood pressure. Because it is respectful of China and the Chinese people. I was sad to see it end, and I loved the primary characters. Read this if you have a heart, and empathy. Or if you just like a corking good story with lots of action and romance.