Is at the heart of village life, and marks the beginning of the Squire's land. It is the rescue of Squire Ingham's son by the Irish servant-girl which creates the uneasy bond between Sarah, the respectable family into which she marries, and the Squire's family. But it is Kate, the foundling Sarah adopts, whose doomed, forbidden love for the young Squire forces the families into explosive confrontation. A grand saga, set in all the beauty and pride of Yorkshire, amid the power and excitement of the Victorian era.
The Sparkling Cascade of diamonds was designed to adorn the women who married into one of England's most prominent families - a symbol of the wealth and privilege enjoyed by the Firths of Yorkshire. Instead the magnificent necklace would come to burden the women who wore it, becoming for them an emblem of bondage and inherited tragedy. Pamela Haines's enthralling new saga tells of three generations whose lives and destinies are linked through blood and inheritance of this priceless heirloom.
Christabel Woodward is the darling of her prosperous, mill-owning father until one day he has a sudden and bewildering change of heart. He has read her mother's story, written in three exercise books and usually kept well hidden, and he knows her secret: Christabel is not his own child, but the illegitimate daughter of Branwell Brontë. Branwell died at 31, an obsessive and tormented wreck of a man who was ruined by drinking, drug addiction, and bouts of depression. All Christabel's mother has left of her secret love are a lock of auburn hair and Branwell's daughter, whom he has never known.
Dick Grainger is growing up in Yorkshire and Maria Verzotto is in her far-off home in Monteleone in Sicily when they first hear the story of the Golden Lion - the story of a hero, a prince who wins his princess. Later, Helen Connors, the child whom Maria adopts, and Guy, her painfully loved son, will read it, too.... But there is another Lion: the Lion of Monteleone, who rules his village kingdom through extortion, kidnapping, murder. This is the Lion Maria remembers from early childhood days when, hidden in a linen chest, she hears what has become of her missing cousin
Once upon a time Lucy would have agreed with her father. But now, won over by her mother's memories - of Patmore, the family estate; of Gervase, her first love; of a past never less than perfect - she wouldn't dream of criticising the yearly ritual of tea at Gunter's. For it is there that her mother still meets Gervase; there that she can talk endlessly of the golden days before 1914, of the great might-have-been. But perhaps Lucy's mother can recreate the past through her daughter?
'I didn't realise that for want of one person the world could be meaningless.' Blissfully in love for the first time, seventeen-year-old Polly thus confides to her grandmother, Muff. And these words could equally well have been spoken by Muff, or Polly's mother, Tessie. Muff can never forget her beloved brother Con, killed in the First World War, and Tessie has never recovered from the loss of her great childhood friend, Mike.
From a comfortable childhood in Edwardian Yorkshire, through the pain and grief of the First World War, Edwina dreamed of Men on White Horses. But the Age of Chivalry was dead. After the cataclysm, nothing could ever be the same again - and even Italy in the '20s, with its promise of romance and fulfilment, seemed to proclaim an end of hope. Redolent of a lost era, rich in drama and characterisation, the fabulous novel by the award-winning author of A Kind of War.
"I wanted to like this..."