The Last Concubine and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
  • RRP: £8.99
  • You Save: £1.80 (20%)
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10.
Only 8 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
The Last Concubine has been added to your Basket
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Over 2 million items sold. Fast dispatch and delivery. Excellent Customer Feedback. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Last Concubine Paperback – 12 Feb 2009


See all 12 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£7.19
£4.00 £0.01
£7.19 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

The Last Concubine + The Courtesan and the Samurai: Historical Romance + Geisha of Gion: The True Story of Japan's Foremost Geisha: The Memoir of Mineko Iwasaki
Price For All Three: £22.37

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (12 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552155209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552155205
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 215,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lesley Downer's mother was Chinese and her father a professor of Chinese, so she grew up in a house full of books on Asia. But it was Japan, not China, that proved the more alluring, and she lived there for some fifteen years.

She has written many books about the country and its culture, including Geisha: The Secret History of a Vanishing World, and Madame Sadayakko: The Geisha who Seduced the West, and has presented television programmes on Japan for Channel 4, the BBC and NHK.

She lives in London with her husband, the author Arthur I. Miller, and still makes sure she goes to Japan every year.

Find out more at www.lesleydowner.com

Product Description

Review

'Enthralling story that brings alive a distant exotic world' -- WOMAN&HOME, March 08

'Epic romantic drama set at a pivotal point in Japanese history. This fragile world with its rigid hierarchical structures is beautifully portrayed. This is a love story but far more'
-- reFRESHlite, 12 March 2008

'The Last Concubine is an extraordinary novel--richly-imagined and compelling. An amazing achievement.'
-- SANDRA GULLAND, author of Mistress of the Sun and the Josephine B. Trilogy

'a sweeping historical drama...fluently written, and the political events, battles, customs, minutiae of daily life and even the weather have all been meticulously researched to recreate Japan in the 1860s'
-- Literary Review, April 2008

Thoroughly researched, this beautifully descriptive historical saga offers a fascinating insight into the culture of imperial Japan, and will have you hooked from the first page - wonderful
-- MY WEEKLY --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Epic history and romance combine in a passionate, exotic novel featuring the mysterious mistress of the last shogun emperor.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A. Thorn on 24 May 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a spell-binding, engrossing and a thoroughly enjoyable read. I had previously read Lesley Downer's study into the life of Geisha and found her an engaging and accessible author. I'm not a real fan of novels, but knowing that Downer had written it and that she had a broad and in-depth knowledge of Japanese history made me pick it up. I am so glad I did! It is absolutely amazing, the characters are well formed, the storyline engrossing and the backdrop of 1860s Japan awe inspiring. I read the whole thing in a matter of days (barely sleeping because I NEEDED to know what happened next!)

Some of the 1 Star reviews here complain about historical inaccuracy, but obviously these people did not read the book all the way through. Downer writes in the afterword that, while most of the setting is historically accurate, some has been stretched to fit into her story. And she explains which bits have been! She also lists a bibliography at the end for us to do our own further reading.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kevin on 29 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lesley Downer is that rare thing, an expert with a gift for sharing her encyclopaedic knowledge entertainingly. She writes with a sure, light touch - and she brings nineteenth-century Japan to life. The account of travelling on foot through the mountains to Tokyo in the last days of the Shogunate is atmospheric and masterly, as are the descriptions of customs, clothes, food, fads and even scents in the Japan of the period. The author takes the reader into a vanished world at the heart of which is a love story where destinies are decided on the strength of a look or a fleeting touch. The plot includes the obligatory foreigner - but it is a measure of Downer's success that she doesn't really need her enterprising British diplomat as an entrée to the world she describes: she has already made the reader completely at home. The Last Concubine can be thoroughly recommended to anyone with an interest in Japan or an appetite for stories of adventure and romance. Like one of the previous reviewers I very much look forward to the movie.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SFR Daniel on 16 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I picked it up I said to myself, this is the way to get into Cio Cio San's dreams. I figured that Lesley Downer has spent so much time studying and thinking about Japan of that time, she would likely be able to get inside the skin of the characters. -- Indeed! All true. -- At first I said to myself oh, this is like a sword-and-sorcerers novel. This is not a medieval world, this is ancient. And that sense continued, with all the travel, geography, weather, at times nearly like a Lord of the Rings journey. Then there I was in the palace and I was afraid I would be confined there forever, dealing with endless details of protocol and refinement -- but the martial arts! Wow. And then, thank goodness, saved from all that and cast out into the great unknown again for more adventure. I really loved it. I know it is classified as a romance novel for me it is an adventure novel. With wisdom about the political and 'sociological' situation of the time. (The scenes of carnage after the European weapons entered the scenes reminded me of descriptions of the American Civil War, which was of course about that same time. The gore. The destruction. The change of a world. -- And because she managed to convey the sense of excitement about hand-to-hand combat, by the time the other butchery began, I could feel the difference viscerally.)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary Selikow on 8 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback
A very engrossing novel. Set in 1860s Japan during the time of the Meiji Restoration and the years leading up to it.
Sachi grows up in a mountain village rural Japan. Her pale skin and fine features have always set her apart and made her feel different. At the age of eleven, the procession of the Imperial Princess sweeps up her up from her home to the woman's palace at the Imperial capital of Edo, where she is before too long, chosen as the concubine of the young Shogun after he sees and her and is smitten
Deadly female rivalries from people as diverse as Fuyu who was her contemporary when she joined the palace and the powerful mother of the Shogun, the retired one make for distress and danger. But after the death of the young Shogun from what is billed consumption but is certainly poisoning, civil war caused by rebellion by guerrillas from the south and the destruction of the palace at Edo force her to flee the palace, find love with a dashing Samurai, return for a short while to her native village, and discover her true parentage
Many brushes with death at the hands of the southern rebels , bandits and other desperadoes , which she survives in part due to her own skill she develops as a Samurai and a close company of heroes including her close friend the loyal and aristocratic born Taki. The sights , sounds, feeling and smells of the Japan of the time are brought to life from the cherry blossoms of the palace gardens to the stinking rank breath of a degenerate old bandit that tries to rape her unaware of her skill with a knife.
The author uses her knowledge of the Japan of the time to create a romance and adventure, and her love and understanding of Japan shines throughout. I love books with strong and beautiful female leads and really could get under the skin of Sachi and root for her. Highly recommended especially if you like books like Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, A must for all Japanophiles
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Look for similar items by category


Feedback