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Norah Lofts (1904–1983)

Teoksen The Concubine tekijä

82+ teosta 5,532 jäsentä 111 arvostelua 20 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä

Celebrated novelist Norah Lofts perfected the art of bringing the past alive in her works of historical fiction. She remains one of England's most distinguished and best loved women of letters, selling more than a million books and captivating generations of readers. Lofts' first novel, "I Met a näytä lisää Gypsy", won the American Booksellers' Award for 1935. In her long and prolific career, she wrote more than 60 books of nonfiction, biography and historical fiction, animating history and yet preserving historical accuracy. In works such as "Scent of Cloves" (1940), "Bless This House" (1954), and "Crown of Aloes" (1979), period detail and language are blended with a masterful storytelling technique. Lofts is also well known for biographical novels about great and fascinating women of history such as Anne Boleyn and Catherine of Aragon. In addition, Lofts has written thrillers under the pseudonym Peter Curtis and novels as Juliet Astley. Norah (Robinson) Lofts was born in Norfolk, England on August 27, 1904. She credited her history-teaching years, 1925 to 1936, for developing a sense of history which became the foundation for her writings. Married and the mother of two sons, she lived in an ancient English city, among medieval ruins, in a 250-year-old house. She died there on September 10, 1983. (Bowker Author Biography) näytä vähemmän

(eng) "Juliet Astley" and "Peter Curtis" are noms de plume of Norah Lofts.

Image credit: Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)


Tekijän teokset

The Concubine (1963) 389 kappaletta
The King's Pleasure (1969) 305 kappaletta
Anne Boleyn (1979) 300 kappaletta
The Town House (1959) 269 kappaletta
Eleanor the Queen (1955) 264 kappaletta
The Lute Player (1951) 255 kappaletta
Queens of England (1977) 227 kappaletta
How Far to Bethlehem? (1965) 221 kappaletta
The Lost Queen (1969) 188 kappaletta
The House at Old Vine (1961) 166 kappaletta
Bless This House (1673) 143 kappaletta
Crown of Aloes (1973) 142 kappaletta
Knight's Acre (1975) 128 kappaletta
Nethergate (1973) 122 kappaletta
A Wayside Tavern (1980) 116 kappaletta
The House at Sunset (1962) 107 kappaletta
A Rose for Virtue (1971) 105 kappaletta
The Little Wax Doll (1960) 96 kappaletta
Pargeters (1984) 94 kappaletta
The Day of the Butterfly (1979) 90 kappaletta
Jassy (1944) 85 kappaletta
Silver Nutmeg (1947) 83 kappaletta
Lovers All Untrue (1970) 78 kappaletta
The Old Priory (1981) 77 kappaletta
Maude Reed Tale (1971) 74 kappaletta
Madselin (1968) 73 kappaletta
Here Was a Man (1970) 71 kappaletta
The Lonely Furrow (1976) 67 kappaletta
Afternoon of an Autocrat (1956) 66 kappaletta
Gad's Hall (1977) 63 kappaletta
The Homecoming (1975) 60 kappaletta
Scent of Cloves (1957) 58 kappaletta
Charlotte (1836) 57 kappaletta
Hauntings (1967) 51 kappaletta
Dead March in Three Keys (1940) 49 kappaletta
Esther (1950) 48 kappaletta
The Haunting of Gad's Hall (1978) 46 kappaletta
The Claw (1706) 43 kappaletta
Emma Hamilton (1812) 41 kappaletta
Domestic Life in England (1976) 36 kappaletta
Copsi Castle (1978) 35 kappaletta
A Calf for Venus (1949) 33 kappaletta
Hester Roon (1968) 33 kappaletta
Rohkein voittaa (1968) 32 kappaletta
Winter Harvest (1955) 31 kappaletta
The Golden Fleece (1943) 27 kappaletta
The Brittle Glass (1969) 26 kappaletta
Out of This Nettle (1939) 25 kappaletta
I Met a Gypsy (1935) 18 kappaletta
Lady Living Alone (1945) 18 kappaletta
Blossom Like the Rose (1971) 15 kappaletta
Heaven in Your Hand (1600) 14 kappaletta
Checkmate (1975) 13 kappaletta
Saving Face and Other Stories (1984) 12 kappaletta
Requiem for Idols (1972) 9 kappaletta
Rupert Hatton's story, (1972) 8 kappaletta
You're Best Alone (1971) 7 kappaletta
White Hell of Pity (1970) 5 kappaletta
Uneasy paradise (1971) 5 kappaletta
The fall of Midas (1975) 4 kappaletta
BEST OF NORAH LOFTS (1984) 3 kappaletta
Her Own Special Island (1973) 2 kappaletta
Mr. Edward 1 kappale
Nessuno per lei 1 kappale
Czarownice z Walwyk (2011) 1 kappale
Wo alle Liebe endet (1973) 1 kappale

Associated Works

The Mammoth Book of Haunted House Stories (2000) — Avustaja — 295 kappaletta
The Oxford Book of Historical Stories (1994) — Avustaja — 40 kappaletta
At Close of Eve: An Anthology of New Curious Stories (1947) — Avustaja — 4 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla


Muut nimet
Robinson, Norah(birth)
Astley, Juliet (pseudonym)
Curtis, Peter (pseudonym)
Shipdham, Norfolk, England, UK
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England, UK
Shipdam, Norfolk, Engeland
Norwich Teaching College
Lyhyt elämäkerta
Norah Lofts, née Robinson, trained as a teacher, became a prolific best-selling author both in the UK and USA. She wrote over 50 books and specialized in historical fiction, although she also wrote nonfiction and short stories. Her books are compelling reading and provide a wealth of historically accurate period detail. Several of her novels were turned into films. Norah Lofts chose to issue her mystery novels under the pen name Peter Curtis because she didn't want the many readers of her popular historical fiction to expect classic Norah Lofts-style writing in them.
"Juliet Astley" and "Peter Curtis" are noms de plume of Norah Lofts.



‘Hester Roon’ is set over the first eighteen years of the title character’s life. It opens when she’s newly born, though for the opening chapters she’s left in the background, with the emphasis being on her mother.

Ellie Roon is a single mother who works for a despicable pub landlord. She also lives in the pub.

Through Ellie’s daily life, the author brings to life the toil and misery of the lowest members of the working class. It’s an endless grind for small pay with little or no social life.

Much of the novel is set at the pub, with occasional wanderings off into the local area. I like this setting the best and miss it when, about halfway through the novel, the teenage Hester is compelled to leave. We see her go from place to place in England until she eventually ends up in the West Indies.

The story is set from the 1750s through to the 1770s, and while the characters are fictional, some of the events in the latter part of the book are based on real events.

The narrative is a bit slow to get going, owing to too much description and explanations instead of drama and action. I wondered for a while if I wasn’t going to enjoy it, but at length we get some character interaction, and I soon became engaged. So, don’t stop reading if you find the first few pages a bit slow – it’s well worth sticking with.

Hester is most interesting. She’s not perfect, not evil, but human with flaws and attributes, and therefore believable. She has a vengeful streak but is good at heart. She has a hard life but manages to survive many situations that would make some people emotionally crumble.

Norah Lofts was particularly good at creating believable characters. She expertly brings them all to life in this entertaining novel.

I can only fault her on two things, one of which is using too much explanation or reporting on events. She’s superb at drama and dialogue, so I can’t understand why she didn’t rely on these attributes consistently.

The other thing I didn’t like was – on three occasions, if I recall correctly – inserting historical notes in brackets, of which the fictitious ones should’ve been added at the end in an epilogue (or cut altogether), and the factual one should’ve been included at the end in an author’s note. Including this sort of thing takes the reader out of the story, destroying all feelings of escapism. When reading a chapter set around 1770, I don’t want an aside telling me that ‘In 1936, etc., etc.’

Don’t be put off by these criticisms, though, if you’re thinking of reading ‘Hester Roon’. About 90 per cent or more of this novel is brilliant.

This is the seventh novel I’ve read by Norah Lofts. After the first one, she became an author whose works I wanted to read more of. After the second, she entered my Top Ten favourite authors. By the time I’d read six, she was in my Top Three. After reading ‘Hester Roon’, she’s become my favourite author. She has a style like no one else I’ve read.

She has a way of drawing you into her stories and, at times, the writing is so absorbing, it leaves certain scenes imprinted in my mind like memories; as though I was there witnessing what her larger-than-life characters were doing.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
PhilSyphe | Apr 8, 2024 |
“How Far to Bethlehem?” brings the Nativity to life unlike any other story I’ve read or film/TV adaption I’ve seen. It’s highly original in terms of giving the characters backstory and vivid personalities.

With no definitive main character, Mary and Joseph share the limelight with the three wise men/kings. The shepherds are less featured, and of the three, only one is fully developed as a character.

Interestingly, we also get the life story of the inn keeper, which is a surprise, as in most retellings of the Nativity, he’s little more than an ‘extra’.

I love the author’s characterization of Mary.

The chapters are multi third-person specific, occasionally veering into third-person omniscient. It works well, though I would’ve preferred another chapter on Mary and Joseph or the shepherds instead of the one on two Roman officials, which felt like filler material.

Although the story lags every so often, this is on the most part a very good novel written by an original and talented author.
… (lisätietoja)
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PhilSyphe | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 26, 2023 |
‘The Little Wax Doll’ is one of Norah Lofts’s contemporary novels, yet with it being set in 1959 it felt like historical fiction to me.

This is another well-plotted original with vivid characters. Written in the third person, the focus is on a forty-four-year-old schoolteacher called Miss Mayfield. Her first name is Deborah, which is rarely mentioned.

I feel it suited the character perfectly to be referred to Miss Mayfield instead of her Christian name, as hers is a serious personality and someone who deserves respect. Serious, yes, but kind with a sense of justice. It’s this sense of justice that puts her in danger more than once.

I was intrigued throughout the narrative to see where events would lead next. It’s a horror tale, albeit a mild one. Don’t expect graphic atrocities or people being hacked to death with an axe. Although there is some violence, in the main we have a sense of unease, with Miss Mayfield sensing something isn’t right with the idyllic little village she’s moved to, with her perfect house and position as head teacher.

On the whole, this is a damn good novel. My admiration for Norah Lofts’s literary skills grows with every title of hers I read.
… (lisätietoja)
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PhilSyphe | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 7, 2023 |
This short story collection features twelve tales of a creepy nature but are by no means of the horror genre. Only a few have supernatural elements, whereas the others are eerie in other ways, giving the impression of something otherworldly.

The author explains in her foreword that her intention was never to create a blood and guts chiller. Rather, she wanted to create the atmosphere of one feeling not alone, and such like.

Most stories worked well, though two or three felt somewhat off topic, lacking any hint of ghostliness or feelings of being ill at ease.

This is my first taste of Norah Lofts’s short stories and non-historical works. While I prefer her historical novels, I still enjoyed these twelve tales.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
PhilSyphe | 1 muu arvostelu | Dec 4, 2023 |



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