“The yardstick by which all historical novels are measured.”*
In Cynthia Harrod-Eagles’s worldwide bestsellers, the majestic sweep of English history is richly and movingly po...
“The yardstick by which all historical novels are measured.”*
In Cynthia Harrod-Eagles’s worldwide bestsellers, the majestic sweep of English history is richly and movingly portrayed through the fictional lives of the Morland family.
It is 1501, and Paul, great-grandson of Eleanor Morland, has inherited the estate and has a son to follow him. But he fathers an illegitimate boy by his beloved mistress, and bitter jealously between the half-brothers causes a destructive rift that threatens to destroy them all.
Paul’s niece Nanette has her own passions, and becomes maid-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn. At the court of Henry VIII, she witnesses firsthand the events leading up to the rift with Rome, her mistress’s execution, and the further efforts of the sad, ailing king to secure the male succession. And through all the turmoil of Henry VIII’s reign—from drought to floods, from religious reform to court intrigue—the Morlands find new ways to come together while the world seems intent on tearing them apart.
What Readers Are Saying:*
“Once again, the history of the period is cleverly woven into the fortunes of the family.”
“A fascinating look into the public and private lives of courtiers in Tudor times.”
“The stories are great, the characters are fascinating, but it is her historical bases for these novels that is so brilliant and makes them very readable.”
“Ms. Harrod-Eagles must be one of the most talented and dedicated authors around, as the historical detail is impeccable, and when you couple that with the characters, it makes for compulsive reading.”
Table of Contents
From Chapter One:
When the old king, Henry VII, died, his mother—the ancient Margaret Beaufort—was so grieved that she survived him by no more than a few weeks, dying in the middle of the new king’s revels and being bundled off unceremoniously so as not to spoil the fun. It would have been hard, however, to find anyone else in the kingdom who regretted the passing of Henry Tidr, and impossible to find any such person in Yorkshire.
In Yorkshire dwelt the old York families with their illustrious names—Neville, Fitzalan, Percy, Mortimer, Clifford, Holland, Talbot, Bourchier, Strickland—and their long memories of personal rule by successive York lords—Richard of Warwick; Richard of York; and Richard of Gloucester, their sweet King Richard who died at the hands of this same unloved and unregretted Henry Tidr.
In Yorkshire also dwelt the Morland family, with their history of lives spent in the cause of the House of York. The founder of the Morland house, Eleanor Courteney, had been a personal friend of the Plantagenets, and King Richard himself had been a frequent visitor at Morland Place before he became king; and her youngest son Richard had served under that king in France. Richard Morland, now universally known as Great Uncle Richard, was the elder and guiding spirit of Morland Place, though Eleanor’s great-grandson Paul was the nominal head of the family. Great Uncle Richard had always been a gentle man and averse to killing or hurting anyone, but even he had had his moment of blood-letting for the cause, and in his case it was purely for revenge.
The battle of Bosworth Field had lost King Richard his life, partly owing to the treachery of Lord Stanley, but even more owing to the treachery of Lord Percy of Northumberland. ‘Proud Percy’ had delayed in his duty of calling out the men of the north to the King’s aid, with the result that the huge Yorkshire army—Morland men amongst them—was still on the road when the battle was lost and over.
Richard Morland and Paul’s father Ned had felt the shame and anguish deeply, and when a fugitive from the battle had told them that Percy, after holding back from the fighting, had been one of the first to do homage to Henry Tidr, they knew that come what may they must be revenged on proud Percy. There were many who felt thus; their chance came not quite four years later.
It was Lord Percy’s task, among others, to collect the taxes imposed by his new sovereign lord upon the people of the north, and in 1489 in April a tax was imposed to raise funds for an invasion of France. Word flickered through Yorkshire like flames through dry bracken; messages passed to and fro between certain members of Percy’s own household, and certain other men whose hearts burned with revenge. When Richard Morland heard of the plot from Ned, he was at first shocked. ‘His own henchmen?’ he queried. ‘He is their lord, their special lord, to whom they owe the firmest duty. It is shame to them not to protect him.’
Ned, normally cheerful and light, looked grim. ‘They are already shamed,’ he said, ‘and by their own lord. Percy failed in his duty to the King, betrayed and abandoned him to his death. His henchmen want to wipe out that shame—it can only be paid for by his blood.’
‘And who is to strike the blow?’
‘We shall draw lots.’ Ned’s candid gaze met Richard’s. ‘Are you with us, or against us?’ he asked simply. Richard’s heart was torn; murder was prohibited by every tenet of Christianity and by every impulse of his gentle soul; yet something older and more primitive was stirring in him, the acknowledgement of duty to one’s feudal lord. He had served under King Richard, had sworn that same oath to him. His eyes fell on the blazoning of the Morland arms over the fireplace, and the motto underneath, the single word Fidelitas. Faithfulness, the Morland creed.
‘I’m with you,’ he said.
It was not hard to raise a mob—northern men never liked paying taxes to a southern king, and Henry VII was particularly unpopular. Last year and the year before, tax collectors had been attacked, and goods constrained had been forcibly rescued by their seething owners. Percy with his household men and retainers marched south to meet the mob and put down what appeared to be a rebellion against the Tudor king and his taxation policy. The two armies met at Topcliffe, near Thirsk.
It was a strange scene. At first there was yelling, brandishing of weapons, threats and insults, but when Percy rode forward into the small space between the groups, a silence fell. Perhaps he thought it was the power of his personality that created the silence; if so, it was his last earthly gratification. There was no man there, from the greatest to the least, who by now did not know what was coming. Two smaller groups detached themselves, one from the Yorkshire mob, one—his closest henchman—from the Northumberland army, and gently, almost tenderly, closed round the mounted lord. A brown hand took the horse’s bridle and the horse fidgeted and shivered, smelling the atmosphere. Percy smelled it too, and looked round, suddenly wary, at the ring of faces, and the cold eyes. The old fox, they called him—he was thin and red-haired and scar-faced; he had never been lacking in courage—you don’t stay long in the high chair of a Border lord if you’re a coward—but there was something in the quiet, hard purpose of the men who surrounded him that chilled his blood.
‘What’s this?’ he demanded. ‘What’s going on?’
‘Better dismount, my lord,’ said a voice beside him. It was his steward, a man who had grown up in his service from boyhood. Percy stared into his eyes, and read his death there. There was no appealing against that look. Trembling now, he dismounted. The soft wind, blowing the smell of spring from the south, fluttered across the high field, stirring the men’s hair and the horses’ manes. The two great armies stood silent, like a vast congregation, and between them stood the small circle of men surrounding the white horse and the great lord. Now that the moment had come there was no anger, no glee, no delight in revenge—there was only a kind of sober sadness, almost a pity. At the last moment Percy begged his men to remember their vows, their oath of loyalty to protect him, but silence was the only reply, and that silence bid him remember his own broken oath. Pride stiffened him again.
Although I have heard that some readers feel the book wonders a bit, I found myself enjoying the way it read. Paul’s brooding character and his affair sheds light on what life in the 1500’s was like. Often those in situations such as Paul’s felt at any moment their world could crash down around them, then add a loveless marriage, and the fact that you only have one legitimate heir to the mix one can only imagine how unbearable it would feel. Then the drama of court life, particularly the era of Anne Boleyn, brings an intriguing aspect to the book which made it impossible for me to put down.
The second book in the Morland Dynasty, THE DARK ROSE, is as well written as the first. A true page turner, that offers the reader a few shocking outcomes. The only thing that I found bothersome was that the author used more creative licensing rather than sticking to the historical facts, although it was an enjoyable read, that I highly recommend.
For those of you unaware of the Morland ancestry a lovely chart has been added.
Although the Morland’s are a fictional family, the author Cynthia Harrod Eagles gives readers a glimpse of what many families went through throughout England’s turbulent history.
In “The Dark Rose,” Paul Morland – founder Eleanor’s great-grandson – has become the head of the Morland dynasty. England has had a bit of a change of leadership as well; the house of York, with whom the Morlands were long allied, has fallen and it is the Tudors who now rule. Just as the Tudors are now dealing with contenders to the throne, Paul is dealing with different factions competing for his affection and a place as a member of his family. Between his wife and children and his mistress and illegitimate son, as well as his half-siblings who he believes to be illegitimate, things are quite messy in the Morland household.
Okay, so “The Dark Rose” isn’t actually as melodramatic as I made it sound, but Paul does act a bit brooding in much of the first half of the book. In fact, he was so brooding as to be somewhat obnoxious, and gave me a bit of difficulty in getting into the book initially. As Paul grew up a bit more and started to act it, though, I slipped into the book more easily. Things got even easier when Nanette, Paul’s niece, became a major character. She was much easier to identify with, and her life was also a bit more interesting, as for some time she was living at court with Anne Boleyn during Anne’s meteoric rise and fall. Harrod-Eagles changed a few pieces of history for no reason that I could discern, however, and that drew me out of the story a few times. For instance, she had Elizabeth Boleyn, mother of Anne and Mary, dying when the girls were young. That is not true, and it seemed to serve no purpose other than annoy me any time it was mentioned. Then there was the whole thing with the uncle and niece falling in love. I’ve more or less made my peace with the creepiness of the cousins constantly marrying one another (and in EVERY generation…), but the uncle to half-niece was just ick. They seemed like true love and all, but my brain just kept going ‘ick, ick, ick, ick, ick.”
Overall, I did very much enjoy “The Dark Rose,” although perhaps not quite as much as “The Founding.” I liked it enough that I’m excited for “The Princeling,” the next book in the Morland dynasty series.
Cynthia Harrod-Eagles ‘Dynasty’ series was first published in 1980, and book number 35 is now available. Sourcebooks has gone back to the beginning and reprinted the first books and being a CHE fan, I jumped at the chance to re-read an old favourite.
The Dark Rose is the story of French Paul, Eleanor Morland’s great grandson and the founders of the dynasty. Paul runs the Morland properties, but struggles with jealousy of his half-siblings and dislike of his wife. King Henry VIII has finally become tired of his wife, Catherine of Aragon and has fallen in love with Anne Boleyn.
Paul’s niece, Nanette Moreland, becomes lady in waiting to the King’s favourite, and is beside her as a beloved intimate when she becomes his ill-fated queen.
Nanette is also struggling with the fact she is in love with her uncle Paul and feels to be at court will diminish her feelings for a relationship frowned on by the church.
However the church is changing, and the country’s sense of right and wrong divides families, among them Paul’s. His son, Amyas, a harder taskmaster than Paul, clings to the ‘Old Religion’ and is prepared to make his feelings known in a rebellion against the dissolution of the monasteries that threatens to bring the King’s wrath down on Moreland Place.
Nanette’s fate, so closely tied in with Anne Boleyn’s, is destined to change when her mistress is executed. She returns to Moreland Place and marries Paul, a union Amyas abhors. Nanette is safe under Paul’s protection, but then his long lost son returns. Adrian is the son of the beautiful Ursula who died of the sweating sickness that took Paul’s own wife and Nanette’s parents and brothers. Although he loved Adrian Paul rejected him out of duty for his legitimate son, an act Adrian can never forgive.
Adrian begs his father to let him come home, but when he is rejected again, this proves a tragic decision for Paul, and the outcome leaves Nanette at the mercy of the new master of Moreland Place.
CHE’s portrayal of Anne Boleyn is masterful, and one I always compare with other interpretations. She is portrayed as coquette, child, lover and schemer all in one, and goes to her death as an innocent victim, mourned by few but her beloved Nanette.
Nanette herself is a little too perfect, whose exposure to the betrayal, lies and murders at the Tudor Court, leaves her as innocent as the day she arrived and with apparently no ill feelings towards the King, who murdered her beloved mistress. The only person she appears to resent is the ‘honey scorpion’ Jane Seymour.
The style of writing is different to historical fiction being published today, maybe a little romanticised, less gritty and true to life. However, the author’s research cannot be faulted in its detail and subsequent effect on the Morlands, whom CHE is not afraid to kill off in multiple numbers if it suits the plot. Together with her great characterisation, this fast moving story will keep you reading to the end.
The Moreland dynasty is an epic series that spans many generations of English History. Book 2, The Dark Rose, focuses on one of my favorite time periods, the reign of the Tudors. The Story of King Henry VIII has always fascinated me. This book goes into great detail of what might have happened behind the scenes and what historical characters like Ann Boleyn and the King himself may have been feeling. The story of the Moreland family is woven into this setting when your religious affiliation could be your undoing.
Paul Moreland is now head of the Moreland family and he is most concerned with making sure he has an heir to succeed him as head of the family. His relationship with his wife, Anne is less than wonderful and he has come to truly despise her, even though she provided him with the necessary heir, in Amyas, Pauls son. He fathers an illegitimate child with his mistress and is in turmoil of what to do for his love child. I really felt sorry for Paul in some ways, he was put in a difficult situation. During that time wives and husbands were chosen by your family not because of love, but because of what the match would offer the family and Pauls character really suffered from this practice. It seems that his affection is always misplaced and he forever choses women he cannot have. We see Paul grow as a character and try to fix his mistakes. Providing for his brother Jacks children, and making sure that his son Adrian is taken care of. I liked Paul he was a brooder, which always makes for an interesting character.
A good deal of the book is given to Nanette, who is Pauls niece. Nanette goes to court and eventually becomes one of Queen Anne Boleyns attendants. She gives up much of her life to be with Anne and to help her as she becomes Queen. She is there when Elizabeth is born and sees many things change within the court. Nanettes character is one of dark beauty. She is a beautiful woman who is well educated and becomes one of the courts favorites. But she has secrets of her own that keep her from her home at Moreland Place. Nan reminds me of a young girl who has a hard time suppressing her own desires and conforming them to what is expected of her.
The Dark Rose is available now from your favorite bookseller.
This is a great book. I cant wait to read book 3! Im giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag.
This, the second book in the Morland Dynasty series begins in 1501 around the time that King Henry VII dies and ends during King Edward VIs reign or actually the Regencys reign. Interspersed with the history of the Tudors is the fictional family the Morlands. It is a story of continuing court intrique, treachery, love and hate during a time in history where a person could be charged with treason just by saying the wrong thing or following the wrong religion. Most everyone knows the story of Henry VIII so I will not go into detail. It is a story about the Catholics and the Protestants and the struggle that ensues. The first third of the book surrounds the life of Paul Morland, great grandson of Eleanor Morland. It tells of the marriages and births and deaths within the family. There was a lot of intermarrying within the cousins. This was a very common practice at that time to keep the bloodlines pure and to keep lands and other holdings within a family. There were also illegitimate children born of the Morland family who had no claims to the dynasty. The second part of the book is about the character of Nanette who goes to court and becomes first a friend of, then maid-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn. Nanette forsakes her own happiness for her service to Queen Anne. Nan spends time between the court and her home at Morland. The last part of the book goes into more of Nanette and the other members of the Morland family, the next generations if you will.
As in any epic style novel, there are characters too numerous to mention, some historical inaccuracies, wars, deaths, births, jealousy between siblings and also happiness. I enjoyed this book as I did the first one in the series and look forward to the next in the series. For the person who loves a great story and a very interesting time in the history of England will be sure to like The Dark Rose.
The Dark Rose is book two in the Morland Dynasty series. The War of the Roses and the family Matriarch, Eleanor, has passed away. The family is now living during Henry VIII’s tumultuous reign. Paul, the great-grandson of Eleanor Morland, is the new family patriarch. His niece, Nanette, grows up with the Katherine Parr and becomes one of Anne Boleyn’s maids-of-honor.
I loved Nanette’s story and her close relationships with Anne Boleyn and Katherine Parr. In particular the end of Anne Boleyn’s reign and live was especially poignant. The only thing I didn’t like about Nanette’s story was her main love interest, which seemed too incestuous for me. I won’t say more to ruin the plot.
I grew to like Paul more as the book went on, but I had a hard time with him as a hero at the beginning o the book. He was actually rather boorish and cruel. I was sad to see how the cute children from book 1 ended up as such unhappily married adults. Luckily his character has major growth and becomes more sympathetic by the end of his life.
The overall book was great, but the beginning of the book moves rather slow. It tries to race through the history between books 1 and 2 a little too quickly. I think it might have been better to skip it or have to mention in passing after starting the main action of the novel. If you start this book and are bored by the beginning, keep on reading, it is worth it!
I am really enjoying the Morland Dynasty Saga and can’t wait to read more of it!
While reading this second book in the Morland Dynasty saga, I remembered why I got hooked on the series the first time I read it almost thirty years ago - the characters. The Dark Rose carries on the story of Robert and Eleanors brood, focussing on their great-grandson Paul and great-great grand-daughter, Anne, know as Nanette. Paul is married to a woman he does not love and finds happiness in the arms of another, who gives him a son out of wedlock with whom he has a trouble relationship while Nanette goes to Court and serves both Anne Boleyn and Catherine Parr, sharing in their tragic lives. The lives of the other members of the family are interwoven into the story.
As with The Founding, there is lots of historical detail and the characters observe and particpate in some of the major events of the Tudor period, including Henry VIIIs split with the Catholic Church, the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the resulting Pilgrimage of Grace. Once again, Ms. Harrod-Eagles captures the period atmosphere, especially the social and political tensions, yet her story does not come across as a history lesson. Instead it unfolds at a absorbing pace that keeps the reader turning the pages, eager to know what happens next.
Paul himself is not the most endearing of characters, yet this is another of the authors strengths - making us care about people who have characters flaws. His son Adrian is even more difficult, yet again, the reader has some sympathy for him, despite his less than stellar nature. Nanettes story is one that many women from the higher classes during that period experienced seeing the Tudor court from the female point of view is always interesting and she is very engaging and believable. Even Henry VIII is portrayed as a real flesh and blood person and not as the caricature he has become for so many who think of him only as a fat old man who cut off the heads of his wives.
I read this book in less than a week, and loved being swept away by the Morland family and their story and when I closed it, I was eager to start the next one in the series. So why not pick up up The Dark Rose this month from Sourcebooks Landmark and, like me, lose yourself in this wonderful work of historical fiction.
The second novel in the epic Morland Dynasty series. The Dark Rose takes place during the reign of Henry VIII. Most of the perspectives in this book are from Paul (Eleanors great-grandson), the current master of the estate and his niece Nanette, who becomes maid-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn.
I found myself zipping through this faster than its predecessor. There was no setting up, here; we got right into the story.
While in The Founding, we mostly followed the perspective of Eleanor, and it was rather hit and miss with her, in my opinion. Sometimes I liked her, sometimes I didnt. With The Dark Rose, we were following around Nanette and I really liked her. Shes probably my favorite of the Morlands, thus far. She was very strong and resourceful and among all things: loyal. She never wavered from what she believed in. I was happy with her ending at the end of the book.
Nanettes uncle Paul is the current owner of the Morland estate. His son is his heir, but Paul has another son, an illegitimate one. This leads to problems, and Im not talking inheritance problems. Pauls illegitimate son causes many changes, both and good bad, through the years of the family.
The Dark Rose is only my second Tudor book. Its not my favorite time period. However, I enjoyed The Dark Rose, nonetheless. It was interesting to see Anne Boleyn from a different view. And we saw a lot of her in The Dark Rose, seeing as how Nanette was one of the closest to her. The other Queen we saw a lot of was the final one: Catherine Parr. Nanette has known Catherine since they were children and Nanette becomes her maid-in-waiting, as well.
Im looking forward to the next book, which looks to take place during the reign of Elizabeth I. So far, this is a solid historical series.
First came The Foundling, which took the reader through the War of the Roses now in her second Morland Dynasty saga, The Dark Rose, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles takes the reader through the demise of the Plantagenets to the full rise of the Tudors being firmly in power. The Dark Rose tells the story of the Morlands during the reign of King Henry VIII and the controversies within the Morland family beginning with Paul, the great-grandson of Eleanor and his conflicts with his half brother Jack. The reader is taken through the tumultuous years of roughly 1501-1549 with the rise and fall of power, allegiances, love, and betrayal along with a fresh insight into King Henry VIII’s court. The Dark Rose is a very detailed account of life during this time period and offers a fresh opinion of a time period often written about. Harrod-Eagles masterfully takes command of historical events and creates intriguing and compelling stories to go with the actual events making the reader care about the characters, both major and minor, along with the events that lead up to the joys, sorrows, heartbreaking sadness and delicious triumphs that occur in the Morland family. Those familiar with Tudor England will recognise many of the key players. While this is the second in the Moreland Dynasty saga, The Dark Rose can indeed stand on its own, however I highly recommend reading The Foundling, as it was truly a brilliant read and the third Morland novel will be released later this fall titled, The Princeling, which I am anxiously awaiting. I highly recommend The Dark Rose to anyone who enjoys exceptionally written historical fiction or anyone knew to historical fiction.
The Dark Rose, Book Two in Cynthia Harrod-Eagles massive Moreland Family Saga makes its U.S. debut this month. The Dark Rose begins in the year 1501 and brings all the intrigue of life at the court of Henry VIII to readers through the eyes of Nanette Moreland, who becomes lady in waiting to Anne Boleyn. Nanette is a good friend to Anne, and witness to her tantrums and triumphs as she leads King Henry VIII on a merry chase for many years. Meanwhile, at Moreland Place in Yorkshire, Paul Moreland works to build the family holdings and diversify their business in the wool trade, making the Morelands one of the most powerful families in their region. These successes are tempered with tragedies of illness and death, foolish, youthful indiscretions flowing into adulthood, and the love, resentment, and jealousies that can often be found in a large family who work and live together.
I enjoyed The Dark Rose because of the way the lifestyles of the different classes were described in such detail. Not only do readers enjoy the pomp and intrigue of daily Court life with velvets and jewels, but the supposedly simpler life of those making a living from the land to support the lavish Court lifestyle. For Tudor lovers The Dark Rose brings us another perspective on life at Court with Henry, Catherine of Aragon, and Anne Boleyn and for lovers of romance theres plenty of love and lust both at Moreland Place and Whitehall Palace.
As with the other books in the Moreland Place series, a family tree is provided at the front of the book, to which I referred often while reading. On Cynthia Harrod-Eagles web site there is a map of the fictional Moreland Place and its surrounding villages, which is fun to have as a reference, also.
The need to love and be loved is an abiding theme that pulsates like the very heartbeat of The Dark Rose. On the continuum from the powerful king to the defenseless child born of rape, these needs influence lives, politics, and even religion.
Members of the Morland family take the reader on a journey through a time in 16th century England when change rumbled and threatened like a live volcano erupting, and then subsiding only to flare up again bringing heartbreak, pain, and death. These changes often placed duty over love, making the lives of many miserable. Yet, love survived and life continued.
Nanette Morland feels the brunt of all these happenings, whether at her beloved Morland Place in the North of England or in King Henry’s court. Her life, so intricately entwined with the powerful and the weak, gives her love for a short time, but duty, hurt, and humiliation demand a strength from her that sometimes saps her vitality. Yet, she never retreats from life and her search for purpose and happiness.
The Dark Rose teems with characters that pull the reader into their lives, their emotions, their beliefs, and their struggles for a better life.
Cynthia Harrod-Eagles gives the reader a vicarious experience that encompasses war, drought, killing winter cold, religious persecution, and power struggles (in families and in the realm). The reader is also privy to the trials and tribulations of a multitude of characters from the king to the commoners some evoke sympathy while others stir hostile feelings, even hate.
The excellent research makes the reader forget that The Dark Rose is fiction. The historical facts around which the story is twined makes it seem so real. This second book of the Morland dynasty series is a compelling, emotion-stirring tale that lingers in the mind long after the last page is read. It is a KEEPER!
This is an amazing story of Henry Tudor aka. King Henry VIII with so much realism that you cannot help immerse yourself in the story right up to your pretty little eyes. Considering this is a work of fiction it has more than its share of fact to give you a wonderful lesson into the life of royalty in England during the Tudor dynasty.
The focus of the story is not on the King so much himself but on the Morlands who were not the richest most powerful family but one of privilege and money in their own right. The main focus is on Lady Anne (Nanette) Morland as she goes from childhood through adulthood and all of the different aspects of this powerful period that affect her life in ever so many ways.
I honestly wish I had read the first book in the series before this one but will most certainly acquire it and read it later. You need not read the first one to read this one as this is in its own right a book that can stand alone with the amount of detail throughout King Henry VIIIs reign.
The author has given us a wonderfully rich story full of love and devotion, hate and conflict, pride and prejudicism that are vividly detailed to ensnare you right from the beginning and keep you hooked all the way to the very end. A story based on fact that is embellished just beautifully to not only give you a much needed lesson in history but to capture your emotions and wring them out like a wet rag. You will need a few tissues during this story as you cannot help yourself from becoming emotionally involved with the complex lives that are presented so artistically. Its like watching the best movie of your life especially if you are someone who gets more from the descriptive than the visual. This is a series not to be missed.
I had never read any books by this author before having the lucky chance to review this edition of The Dark Rose from Sourcebooks Landmark. I am now hot on the trail of the first volume in the Morland Dynasty series and will, more than likely, become a devotee of this excellent author!
This book is based on a fictional family with the last name of Morland and the time from is during the reign of Henry VIII - this volume roughly covers the years 1513 to 1549. It is, more or less, a romance, although there is much much more to this story. The historical facts as presented are quite close to factual although the lives of this fictional family - think the Ewings of the old "Dallas" television series.
The book is replete with romance, marriages, deaths, forbidden loves, natural disasters, crop failures, intrigues with the royal family (think Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Katherine Parr), rebellions, religious disputes - this book has it all - and presents it all with a flair and believability that sets this authors talents apart from many other historical fiction writers. The book is founded on a fictionalized family but the events and history that surround this family are definitely based on good, hard historical facts.
It appears that this is a reprint of this excellent book - and some of the older covers are ones that I probably would not have considered buying in the past. I like this cover and I think it suits the book well.
Below are two other, older covers that I unearthed. The one on the right is the more recent, and better of the two IMHO, whilst the one on the left is one I most likely would not have thought to buy way back when I was managing a bookstore!
Im off to go in search of other volumes in this series. I dont believe that any historical fiction enthusiast will be disappointed in reading this excellent historically based novel!Its due for release in July I believe and can be pre-ordered easily - and often with a discount - on Amazon or through your very important local bookstore
Length: 8 in
Width: 5.25 in
Weight: 22.00 oz
Page Count: 592 pages