This wonderful series opens with the back drop of the Wars of the Roses with the marriage between Eleanor Morland and a scion of the influential house of Beaufort. It is a union which establishes the powerful Morland dynasty and in the succeeding volumes of this rich tapestry of English life, we follow their fortunes through war and peace, political upheaval and social revolution, times of pestilence and periods of plenty, and through the vicissitudes which afflict every family - love and passion, envy and betrayal, birth and death, great fortune and miserable penury.
The Morland Dynasty is entertainment of the most addictive kind.
©1980 Cynthia Harrod-Eagles (P)1998 Isis Audiobooks
I have now listened to 3 books in this series. What a fun time. The series will provide historical fiction lovers with hours of good listening. So far the stories are not "gummy" with ridiculous,sticky romantic writing. There is enough romance blended with ficticious events to develop a very good story that holds the listeners' attention. If you enjoy well developed fictional characters mixed with actual historical people and events this is the series for you. The listener can get a birds eye view of Britsh history without feeling bogged down. I hope Audible will provide the entire series for us to enjoy as I will pruchase all of them without hesitation.
Engaging historically-believable characters
Sorry--no spoilers!!! I hate spoilers. But the book is great.
The main character. Though female, the voice rendition was not annoying.
This name fits it best.
I read a couple of CHE's 20th century books in this series a while back and decided I wanted to go back and pick up the family from the beginning. I unfortunately read her 20th century books at the same time as Follett's Fall of Giants, which was better, perhaps because it had to cover multiple cultural grounds quickly and not just one ancient family's descendants. But this Dynasty 1 book has me interested in this family again, and I'll keep going in the series for sure.
"Get ready for a really long read"
I once described the Morland Dynasty books as like sitting down with a good friend, who you've not seen for ages, for a good gossip. Throw in a cup of tea and sticky cake and you're all set. I've read all the Morland books to date (over 33 I think) and have now started to listen to them on Audible. I love historical fiction and throw in a family saga and I'm hooked particularly when it's written as well as Cynthia Harrod-Eagles writes.
This is the start of the dynasty, bit of a give-away the title, and it sets the pace well although the time gaps slow up as the years go by, I think it took four books to cover the First World War whereas this book, The Founding, covered one generation starting with the arranged marriage of Eleanor Courtney and Robert Morland and their subsequent offspring and moving into Tudor times when the second book "The Dark Rose" is set.
I wasn't sure I'd like the audible version, but I do. Hearing the story the second time round has left my mind free to picture the characters in much greater depth. I have two minor criticisms. Firstly, I find Christopher Scott's voice a little tiring and lacking in enthusiasm, I keep wanting to go to sleep. I also cant really tell the men from the women characters. and secondly, with so many diverse characters I miss not having a family tree before me to refer to. Perhaps I will just have to draw my own!
"Addictive - and 19 books in the series... so far.."
It is so hard to find good books with a good reader. A good book for me has to be unabridged, reasonably intelligent, well written, engrossing, not have explicit and badly written sex scenes - and have a certain something that makes it stand out. It also has to be long enough to be good value. For more complex and more demanding reads I prefer a real book so I can flick back and reread bits, or skip bits that are boring. The reader has to be able to pronounce the words without error, give a lively reading without overacting, and not sound as if they are spitting and dribbling as they read - which a couple of the readers do. I was even considering letting my membership lapse when I stumbled across this series. The narrators of the first three books in the series are ok'ish, but by book 4, they've found a really good reader, Terry Wale. The biggest compliment I can give him is that you don't really notice him. The books are half saga and half historical - a good balance of action (battles etc) and human interest. I'm enjoying them tremendously but my husband is as well so we're getting twice the value from them. I'm now a total addict and will have to work through the 19 available and hope that by the time I have finished, the rest of the series will have appeared. (35 at the time of writing). I have a feeling that they will stand up to a second listening as well. Currently on book 5.
"Wonderful Historical Soap Opera"
I found this little gem of a series 30yrs ago and have been hooked ever since!!
I have re-read this series in book format that many times the hard covers are falling apart
and now having converted to audio its so easy just to sit in a big comfy chair with a cuppa and few biscuits, close your eyes and let the play unfold before yours eyes
Cynthia Harrod-Eagles wonderful writing it makes you feel like you are right there watching from the side lines
Eleanor what a woman
Sorry to say the Narrator did not really do the story justice
-the females sound to manly
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