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Publisher's Summary

A classic work of historical fiction from the author of Rebecca and The Birds.

Honor Harris is only 18 when she first meets Richard Grenvile, proud, reckless - and utterly captivating. But following a riding accident, Honor must reconcile herself to a life alone. As the English Civil War is waged across the country, Richard rises through the ranks of the army, marries and makes enemies, and Honor remains true to him.

Decades later, an undaunted Sir Richard, now a general serving King Charles I, finds her. Finally they can share their passion in the ruins of her family's great estate on the storm-tossed Cornish coast - one last time before being torn apart, never to embrace again.

©1946 Daphne du Maurier (P)2014 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Daphne du Maurier is a magician, a virtuoso. She can conjure up tragedy, tension, suspense, the ridiculous, the vain, the romantic." (Good Housekeeping)

What listeners say about The King's General

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Engaging...but not my favorite du Maurier title

I liked this book but didn't love it as much as other books by du Maurier. It's a piece of historical fiction and the characters are real and face many difficult obstacles. The crux of the story involves an enduring romance between Richard Grenville, the King's General, and Honor Harris, a woman from a gentrified family whom he meets when she is 18 and he is 10 years her senior. On the eve of their wedding, she suffers a terrible fall and becomes paralyzed. She does not want Richard to have to tend to her for the rest of her life so she turns away from him. Richard moves on with his life, marrying a woman for her money and bearing several children, but his first and only love is and always will be Honor.

We follow their relationship as Britain engages in a vile civil war, with Richard serving as the brains and brawn beside the King. But, as the war begins to go the way of the Parliamenters, Richard's life becomes even more endangered and Honor does what she can to protect him and keep him safe.

The book moves along apace and it's extremely well-written and informative (I had little knowledge of the British Civil War). I wish I liked Richard better as a character but he is so stiff and arrogant and even grumpy, that I often wondered why Honor ever fell in love with him in the first place, let alone remain in love with him through all the years of their lives.

The book ends without complete satisfaction for the reader. But, still, it was an involving adventure.

Juliet Stevenson is, as usual, fantastic. Her voice is so lilting and she does both male and female characters with confidence and care. I never have trouble understanding her. She makes everything better!

12 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Outstanding

I can't believe it took me 48 years to discover this classic! A must read and so brilliantly written! Daphne du Maurier weaves such a compelling story!

13 people found this helpful

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Magnificent

An enthralling and gripping book masterfully read by a very talented narrator. highly recommended book

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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brilliant

Juliet Stevenson does Daphne du Maurier justice and more. a gripping story, brought to life in vivid colour

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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DuMaurier’s Dog

There was one reason why I stuck with this awful book till the bitter end —Juliet Stevenson’s amazing performance. She took this deadly boring story filled with uninteresting unsympathetic characters and made me believe something just around the corner would make me love this story. She fooled me. I hated it.

1 person found this helpful

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I was surprised by how much I loved this!

I wasn't sure what to make of this story, but thought I'd give it a try. I knew that Juliet Stevenson is an excellent actress and narrator. The first couple of chapters I was concerned that my lack of knowledge about the English Civil War would impact my enjoyment of the book. And, in general I don't love reading books about the 17th Century.

After my initial apprehension, it turns out I was very wrong. The book is fantastic! Once you understand some basics of the time period and the character of Honor you'll be hooked.

DuMaurier's precision to historical accuracy, amazing timing and suspense-building, her choice of a disabled woman as the main character all led me on a fascinating journey. Stevenson is fantastic, and I can hear her say "Menabilly"--the estate where much of the action takes place--and it gives me chills of anticipation. It was a true delight and joy to read this book, and I HIGHLY recommend it to nearly anyone to read. Give it a chance, and be patient at first.

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boring and repetitive

Would you try another book from Daphne du Maurier and/or Juliet Stevenson?

This was nothing like My Cousin Rachel which was fantastic and fast-paced. If I had read this book first I never would have read another book by this author. It actually pained me to have to finish it. Over and over again the same story of Richard who I detested and Honor who I thought had no honor at all. And the Lord's name is used in vain all the tine! Ugh!!

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Juliet Stevenson?

She was fine. It was the story I hated -- and I mean hated. I am trying to delete it from my library so I never have to see it again.

What character would you cut from The King's General?

All of them. They all lost their virtue.

4 people found this helpful