Alice Tisdale Hobart (1882–1967)

Författare till Oil for the Lamps of China

22+ verk 284 medlemmar 4 recensioner

Om författaren

Verk av Alice Tisdale Hobart

Oil for the Lamps of China (1933) 76 exemplar
The Cleft Rock (1948) 49 exemplar
The Peacock Sheds His Tail (1945) 41 exemplar
The Cup and the Sword (1942) 29 exemplar
Yang and Yin (1936) 24 exemplar
The Serpent-Wreathed Staff (1951) 17 exemplar
River Supreme (1929) 15 exemplar
The Innocent Dreamers (1963) 6 exemplar
Their Own Country (1940) 5 exemplar
Venture into Darkness (1955) 4 exemplar
Within the walls of Nanking (1928) 3 exemplar
Esta tierra es mía (1970) 1 exemplar
Yang og Yin 1 exemplar
Gusty's Child (1959) 1 exemplar
Oil For The Lamps Of China [1935 film] (2011) — Screenwriter — 1 exemplar
Yang y Ying 1 exemplar
Gutsy's Child 1 exemplar

Associerade verk

The Word Lives On: A Treasury of Spiritual Fiction (1951) — Bidragsgivare — 4 exemplar
Law of the Tropics [1941 film] — Original book — 1 exemplar
Wings of Courage and Other Stories for Girl Scouts — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar


Allmänna fakta

Vedertaget namn
Hobart, Alice Tisdale
Namn enligt folkbokföringen
Nourse, Alice
Andra namn
Tisdale Hobart, Alice
Lockport, New York, USA
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Hangchow, China
University of Chicago
Northwestern University
Kort biografi
Alice Tisdale Hobart, née Nourse, was born in Lockport, New York. When she was two years old, the family moved to Chicago for her father's work as a music teacher in the public schools. Her mother died when Alice was ten. At 17, she contracted spinal meningitis and had a fall, which left her in fragile health during the rest of her life. She attended Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, but did not graduate from either. She went to work for the YWCA. In 1908, she took her first trip to China in order to visit her sister Mary, who taught at a girl's school in Hangchow. She returned to China two years later to teach English in the same school. In China, she met and married Earle Tisdale Hobart, an executive for the Standard Oil Company, and moved to Manchuria. The early years of their marriage were spent amid the turbulence that followed the overthrow of the Manchu imperial dynasty. She began writing about her experiences and in 1916 made her literary debut in a series of articles called "Leaves From a Manchurian Diary" in The Atlantic Monthly. it was the start of her long career as an author. Her first book, Pioneering Where the World is Old (1917), was based on the The Atlantic articles. Her second book was By the City of the Long Sand (1926). The following year, she and her husband were forced to flee their home in Nanking when Nationalist soldiers attacked the city. Their harrowing escape was the climax of her next book, Within the Walls of Nanking (1928).
Her best known book, the novel Oil for the Lamps of China, appeared in 1933. She settled in California in the 1940s, and published more than a dozen books in her career. Three of them were adapted into Hollywood films. In 1959 she published her memoir, Gusty's Child.



I got this ancient paperback as a freebie from a sidewalk cart in front of a used bookstore ages ago. No one would buy it because it's neither famous nor infamous. As a freebie, it was interesting to read as an example of how VERY MUCH the world has changed. Her Chinese people speak in an oddly archaic English, as thought Cotton Mather had time-traveled to teach them. Condescending much?

What worked, though, was the way her main character was bullish on how to exploit China's economic potential to make him rich and ends up broke and betrayed by even more unscrupulous American men. The Chinese people are characterized without the heavy moralizing pall I expected to need to brush off. But here's the thing: This outsider's view of an immense, ancient culture was written iin the early 1930s, yet feels as old as a Victorian novel because the take is reflective of an unquestioning acceptance of "Western superiority," though not explicitly. It's implicit in the framing of the conflicts her oil executive has with Authority, Chinese or American, being valorizing of him and his role. No wonder its 1935 film was so boring to watch, as this was very easy to get onto the screen.

Two interesting notes: The author was married to a Standard Oil company man whose job was in China; the edition I had (it disintegrated as I read it so it's been chucked out) was printed in 1945, when China was an important theater in the ongoing war, so was meant to cash in on public attention.
… (mer)
richardderus | Jun 24, 2023 |
The Cleft Rock is superficially a story of Russians in America. But I think its roots reach much deeper than that. Edward Dodd, one of the main characters of the novel, ran away to China to escape what he thought was his father's domination. He lived with and later married a young White Russian girl. He was called home to be with his sick father and took Katya, his wife, with him. His father recovers and persuades him to divorce Katya. The story continues throughout Katya's, her son's and Edward's lives and throughout the sotry Edward tries to escape his father's grasp and at the same time tries to please him. He often breaks away but just as often he is coaxed back to the family fold. Katya and Peter, her son, have their own problems living in The Valley of California which are in many ways interwoven with Edward's.
This book interested me very much. For one thing it pointed out that you should not judge a book by its cover. To me, it looked thoroughly uninteresting, like something the Bible Society might publish. But no sooner had I opened the first page than I fell in love with it. It was not a "pretty story" and it did not even end happily but its conflicts and plot really told it like it is. The characters were so gullible and human I really felt that no way could they be any more realistic.
The characters left a profound impression on me, especially Edward Dodd. To think that an intelligent man like him could be so expertly manipulated really set me to thinking. I mean, if he could be, so could I and thousands of other people. I began to wonder if maybe all the world wasn't handled by just a few men. It is a scary thought.

I wrote this review on November 15 1969 when I was 16 years old. Despite my statement that the characters left a profound impression on me I do not remember this book at all. So my impressions are those of a teenager, not an adult but the idea of many being manipulated by just a few has certainly come to pass.
… (mer)
gypsysmom | 1 annan recension | Apr 28, 2020 |
Eyewitness account by the American wife of a Standard Oil businessman living in Nanking during the northward surge from Canton by "Nationalist/Communist" coalition troops in 1927. She tells of attacks on foreigners in Nanking who are forced to flee the city under the protective fire of military war ships. A 1928 review of events concludes that Russian military advisors directed the communist and left leaning members of the Nationalists to attack the foreigners in an attempt to discredit the right leaning Chiang Kai shek.… (mer)
Just1MoreBook | Nov 29, 2017 |
I have been drinking in this book like some rareified water, back in the days when the earth was possibly less polluted, and certainly before bottled water became fashionable. I find, now and then, syntax and metaphors that are positively cliched, then have to realize, this book is old enough that, when the author wrote it, such prose might have been original. I find The Cleft Rock to be a wholly civil expository, true to exquisitely correct English, and a great exercise in the omniscient voice. What strikes me most is how truly this story addresses current social mores and political divides. The more things change, the more they stay the same, it seems. I have not finished reading it yet; almost done. I found myself frustrated by the son Peter's struggles; enraged by the patriarch Jeremy and the passive Edward, and stunned by the impact a waving ideological fist can have upon the face of human frailties. I do not even remember how I came to possess this book. I think I bought it at an estate sale. I hope more of you read it, and think about it every time you turn on your faucet for a glass of water!… (mer)
2 rösta
Bay | 1 annan recension | Apr 8, 2007 |



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