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Publisher's Summary

Captain Marryat's The Children of the New Forest is a wonderful tale in narrative, historically rich and quite fascinating. This story of adventure, treachery, and love takes place during the English Civil War, when fellow countrymen are found enemies and are set against each other, Roundhead and Cavalier, Parliament and the King. Many hoped for the same thing: justice. But, for a long time, neither could find it. In the midst of all were the Beverlies, the family of a faithful Cavalier, who died in service of the king. His four children were left orphaned when their mother died of grief. Then, word came to them that the Roundheads were going to burn down their estate, Arnwood. Fate sent them into the hands of an old forester, Jacob Armitage, and they escaped to his cottage. From there, the story unfolds. 

Captain Frederick Marryat (July 10, 1792 – August 9, 1848) was an English Royal Navy officer, novelist, and a contemporary and acquaintance of Charles Dickens, noted today as an early pioneer of the sea story. He is now known particularly for the semi-autobiographical novel Mr Midshipman Easy and his children's novel The Children of the New Forest, and for a widely used system of maritime flag signalling. From 1832 to 1835 Marryat edited The Metropolitan Magazine. He kept producing novels, with his biggest success, Mr Midshipman Easy, coming in 1836. He lived in Brussels for a year, travelled in Canada and the United States, then moved to London in 1839, where he was in the literary circle of Charles Dickens and others. He was in North America in 1837 when the Rebellion of that year in Lower Canada broke out, and served with the British forces in suppressing it. He was named a Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition of his invention and other achievements. In 1843 he moved to a small farm at Manor Cottage in Norfolk, where he died in 1848. 

His daughter Florence Marryat later became well-known as a writer and actress. His son Francis Samuel Marryat completed his late novel The Little Savage. Marryat's novels are characteristic of their time, with the concerns of family connections and social status often overshadowing the naval action, but they are interesting as fictional renditions of the author's 25 years of real-life experience at sea. These novels, much admired by Joseph Conrad and Ernest Hemingway, were among the first sea novels. They were models for later works by C. S. Forester and Patrick O'Brian that were also set in the time of Nelson and told the stories of young men rising through the ranks through successes as naval officers. His later novels were generally for the children's market, including his most famous novel for contemporary readers, The Children of the New Forest, which was published in 1847 and set in the countryside surrounding the village of Sway, Hampshire. 

©1847 Frederick Marryat (P)2013 Audible Ltd

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Plucky Kids in the English Civil War

This is a very pleasant story and a forerunner of many of the YA novels that have come since. (Some may like that the heroes and heroines are little gentleman and ladies; the same thing may drive other listeners crazy.)

The reading is very good, but there are a few faults in the production: about halfway through the book there are a number of places where lines are repeated.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • chloe
  • 03-14-16

love this story

beautifully wrote book, very detailed in the ways of the forest icant help but feeling hungry when they keep disucing freshly cut venison and farm vegetables when I was listening to this in the evening I should have made a game out of every time dinner was mentioned. would be great to have them skills to fend for your self and not rely on tescos for food

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • beth
  • 12-11-17

Favourite

Have loved this book for a very long time, set in my favourite historical time

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  • English Country Life
  • 07-22-15

Blessedly not PC

Would you consider the audio edition of The Children Of The New Forest to be better than the print version?

This book is well narrated and all the better for being written before the though police controlled children's stories. You can read it as an interesting historical perspective, but I suggest enjoying it as a tale. It is equally fine in printed form

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jacob Armitage has always been my favourite character in the book A true noble man, if no nobleman.

Did Barnaby Edwards do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

Edwards narrates well and the characters are easily separated but the performance is a little wooden

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

This is a pleasant late night read. A book at bedtime!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon Bowler
  • 07-17-16

An old favourite revisited

I read this many years ago and a reacquainting of this classic story of the interregnum did not disappoint. The narration is excellent. A v good audiobook