Friends of Sir Robert Hart

Mary Tiffen

Testimony to Love. Friends of Sir Robert Hart. The Authors. Excerpts. Plaudits. To Order. Links.

Tiffen has the sort of family that many of us wish we had – interesting relatives with singular names doing remarkable things at auspicious times and in exotic places.

Robert Nield, President of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society

A cracking tale of expatriate life, rich in detail, as bold, bright women far from home pushed against the onerous restrictions imposed by Victorian notions of femininity. But the greatest joy of this book lies in what it shows us about relationships between Victorian men and women. We see them as spouses, as lovers, but most refreshingly, as friends; and the core of the book lies in the deep emotional connection between Hart and three generations of Carrall women.

Emma Reisz, Lecturer in Asian History, Queen's University Belfast

The letters to and from the Carralls and Hart, and their diaries, reveal much that is new and important about the private life of a public figure which included a hidden Chinese family, as well as the expatriate women and girls whom he nurtured and who in turn gave him comfort in his driven loneliness.

Susanna Hoe, author of Women at the Siege: Peking 1900

Friends of Sir Robert Hart…is a wonderfully evocative and empathetic account of the 'inner' life of the Customs. I have learned an enormous amount about what it must have been like for Customs staff to live and work in China in the late nineteenth century, their anxieties, worries, and fun.

Hans van de Ven, Professor of Modern Chinese History, Cambridge University

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