No Westerner has ever achieved Robert Hart’s status and level of power in China. Driven by a passion for his adopted country, Hart became the “godfather of China’s modernism”, inspector general of China’s Customs Service, and the builder of China’s railroads, postal and telegraph systems and schools.
However, his first real love is Ayaou, a young concubine. Sterling Seagrave, in Dragon Lady, calls her Hart’s sleep-in dictionary and says she was wise beyond her years.
Soon after arriving in China in 1854, Hart falls in love with Ayaou, but his feelings for her sister go against the teachings of his Christian upbringing and almost break him emotionally. To survive he must learn how to live and think like the Chinese. He also finds himself thrust into the Opium Wars and the Taiping Rebellion, the bloodiest rebellion in human history, where he makes enemies of men such as the American soldier of fortune known as the Devil Soldier.
During his early years in China, Robert experiences a range of emotion from bliss to despair. Like Damascus steel, he learns to be both hard and flexible, which forges his character into the great man he becomes.
In time, an ancient empire will rely on him to survive, and he will become the only foreigner the Emperor of China trusts.
Full of humanity, passion, and moral honesty, The Concubine Saga is the deeply intimate story of Hart’s loyalty and love for his adopted land and the woman who captured his heart.
“My Splendid Concubine” was the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
In the sequel, “Our Hart, Elegy for a Concubine”, he was the only foreigner the Emperor of China trusted.
Both novels have come together as one in “The Concubine Saga”.
Praise for My Splendid Concubine and Our Heart:
“Lofthouse believes Hart was motivated to destroy his papers not out of shame but out of privacy: ‘What he had with Ayaou was something special he wanted to keep to himself. I don’t think he would approve of My Splendid Concubine … but we live in a different age than Victorian England. I feel that this love story deserves to be told.’ ”– Anneli Rufus , East Bay Express
“My Splendid Concubine is packed cover to cover with intriguing characters and plot, a must read for historical fiction fans and a fine addition to any collection on the genre.” Midwest Book Review
“Many nations adopted modernism in their own ways. ‘The Concubine Saga’ is a historical 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.” (68 word review) – July 8, 2012 Midwest Book Review
” For me, really, My Splendid Concubine is a love story that is rich with Chinese culture. I found the novel fascinating. It is beautifully written and so rich in details of the Chinese culture. Before this novel I did not know who Robert Hart was. I must thank Lloyd Lofthouse for this novel as now I feel I’ve been acquainted with a great man from history. One who respected and loved women and fought to make things better. I’ve also been introduced to many aspects of the Chinese culture that I didn’t know and I really enjoyed that. This was a really good novel for me and I was sorry to see it end.”– Darlene, Peeking Between the Pages
“Our Hart hits the ground running and only reprises that earlier novel in quick asides…. fine and tightly controlled novel.”– Steve Donoghu, Historical Novel Society
“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, 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
Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart [combined in this single volume], which earned honorable mentions in general fiction at the 2008 London Book Festival, 2009 San Francisco Book Festival, 2009 Hollywood Book Festival, 2009 Los Angeles Book Festival, 2009 Nashville Book Festival and was a finalist in historical fiction for the National Best Books 2010 Awards. Lloyd Lofthouse grew up in Southern California, served in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Marine and lives near San Francisco with his wife and family with a second home in Shanghai, China.
So Many Precious Books May 30 Review & Giveaway
Broken Teepee June 1 Review & Giveaway
My Little Pocketbooks June 4 Interview
My Little Pocketbooks June 4 Giveaway
Bookish Dame June 6 Review, Guest Post, & Giveaway
My Little Pocketbooks June 7 Guest Post
J.A. Beard June 8 Interview
My Devotional Thoughts June 8 Review
My Devotional Thoughts June 9 Guest Post & Giveaway
Book Dilettante June 11 Review
Book Dilettante June 12 Guest Post
Joy Story June 12 Review
Books, Books, & More Books June 13 Review & Giveaway
Live to Read June 14 Review
Peeking Between the Pages June 14 Guest Post & Giveaway
Col Reads June 15 Review
Celtic Lady’s Reviews June 18 Review
So Many Precious Books, So Little Time June 18 Guest Post & Giveaway
The Readers Cafe June 19 Review
Sweeps 4 Bloggers June 21 Review & Giveaway
Historical Fiction Connection June 22 Guest Post
Layered Pages June 25 Review
Historical Tapestry June 25 Guest Post
Layered Pages June 26 Interview
Peaceful Wishing June 26 Review
To Read or Not to Read June 27 Review
To Read or Not to Read June 28 Guest Post & Giveaway
M Denise C. June 29 Review
Succotash Reviews June 29 Review & Giveaway
Moonlight Gleam June 29 Guest Post & Giveaway
Jayne’s Books June 29 Review & Giveaway
My Little Pocketbooks June 30 Review
Leave an approved comment on one or more Blog posts found at Lloyd Lofthouse.org or iLook China.net between May 30, 2012 and June 30, 2012 during “The Concubine Saga” Web Tour and automatically be entered into a drawing to win a limited edition, signed and numbered hard-cover copy of the novel. (NOTE: only one limited-edition, hard-cover copy is available to give away)