Pierre Loti's Madame Chrysantheme is a charming story, a real life tale of love between the Frenchman Pierre Loti and a geisha. At times the story is happy, at other times it is sad. The setting is a summer in Nagasaki almost a century ago. Loti, as a young naval officer on station in harbor, had sufficient time on his hands to establish a home ashore with fragile and beautiful Madame Chrysantheme. In these days of fast jet travel such romances are scarcely possible for travelers, yet the appeal of them remains.Here is a novel based on a real experience written by one of France's greatest masters of description. The theme is love in the exotic Japan of the late nineteenth century. At times the scenario resembles comic opera in the vein of Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado, but at other times emotional feeling runs as deep as in Puccinis Madame Butterfly. The mixed denizens of the Nagasaki waterfront and the teahouses of those long-ago days provided Loti with very rich material indeed. This is a book all lovers of the romantic side of traditional Japan will be sure to appreciate.