Clifton Chronicles

14 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 19,933 ratings

Only Time Will Tell Publisher's Summary

From the internationally best-selling author of Kane and Abel and A Prisoner of Birth comes Only Time Will Tell, the first in an ambitious new series that tells the story of one family across generations, across oceans, from heartbreak to triumph.

The epic tale of Harry Clifton’s life begins in 1920, with the words "I was told that my father was killed in the war." A dock worker in Bristol, Harry never knew his father, but he learns about life on the docks from his uncle, who expects Harry to join him at the shipyard once he's left school. But then an unexpected gift wins him a scholarship to an exclusive boys' school, and his life is never the same.

As he enters into adulthood, Harry finally learns how his father really died, but the awful truth only leads him to a question: was he even his father? Is he the son of Arthur Clifton, a stevedore who spent his whole life on the docks, or the firstborn son of a scion of West Country society, whose family owns a shipping line?

This introductory novel in Archer’s ambitious series The Clifton Chronicles includes a cast of colorful characters and takes us from the ravages of the Great War to the outbreak of the Second World War, when Harry must decide whether to take up a place at Oxford or join the navy and go to war with Hitler’s Germany.

From the docks of working-class England to the bustling streets of 1940 New York City, Only Time Will Tell takes listeners on a journey through to future volumes, which will bring to life 100 years of recent history to reveal a family story that neither the listener nor Harry Clifton himself could ever have imagined.

©2011 Jeffrey Archer (P)2011 Macmillan Audio
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  • Book 1

    • Only Time Will Tell

    • The Clifton Chronicles, Book 1
    • By: Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated by: Roger Allam, Emilia Fox
    • Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 4,771
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 4,231
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 4,204

    From the internationally best-selling author of Kane and Abel and A Prisoner of Birth comes Only Time Will Tell, the first in an ambitious new series that tells the story of one family across generations, across oceans, from heartbreak to triumph. The epic tale of Harry Clifton’s life begins in 1920, with the words "I was told that my father was killed in the war"....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Typical Archer

    • By cristina on 10-21-11

    Regular price: $27.99

    • Only Time Will Tell

    • Clifton Chronicles, Book 1
    • By: Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated by: Roger Allam, Emilia Fox
    • Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 212
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 183
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 189

    The Clifton Chronicles is Jeffrey Archer’s most ambitious work in four decades as an international best-selling author. The epic tale of Harry Clifton’s life begins in 1920, with the chilling words, ‘I was told that my father was killed in the war’. But it will be another twenty years before Harry discovers how his father really died, which will only lead him to question: who was his father?

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • A ripping yarn

    • By Jane on 07-01-11

    Regular price: $15.55

  • Book 2

    • The Sins of the Father

    • Clifton Chronicles, Book 2
    • By: Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated by: Alex Jennings, Emilia Fox
    • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 3,222
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,839
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,826

    Only days before Britain declares war on Germany, Harry Clifton, hoping to escape the consequences of long-buried family secrets, and forced to accept that his desire to marry Emma Barrington will never be fulfilled, has joined the Merchant Navy. But his ship is sunk in the Atlantic by a German Uboat, drowning almost the entire crew. An American cruise liner, the SS Kansas Star, rescues a handful of sailors, among them Harry and the third officer, an American named Tom Bradshaw.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Can';t Wait for the Next One!!!

    • By Margaret Campbell on 05-24-12

    Regular price: $27.99

    • The Sins of the Father: Clifton Chronicles, Book 2

    • By: Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated by: Alex Jennings, Emilia Fox
    • Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 188
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 162
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 161

    The second book in Jeffrey Archer’s highly acclaimed The Clifton Chronicles, The Sins of the Father takes the reader on a breath-taking journey from the backstreets of Bristol to the boardrooms of Manhattan.The book opens in New York, 1939. Harry Clifton, under the new identity of Tom Bradshaw, finds himself arrested for first degree murder.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • First Sentence: My name is Harry Clifton

    • By Gitte on 11-08-12

    Regular price: $26.64

  • Book 3

    • Best Kept Secret

    • The Clifton Chronicles, Book 3
    • By: Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated by: Alex Jennings
    • Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,362
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,093
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,089

    Best Kept Secret opens a moment after the end of The Sins of the Father, with the resolution of the trial and the triumphant marriage of Harry Clifton and Elizabeth Barrington, finally uniting their family. Harry, now a best-selling novelist; Emma; their son, Sebastian; and orphaned Jessica make a new life for themselves, but all is not as happy and secure as it could be. Emma's brother, Giles, is engaged to a woman who may be more interested in Barrington's fortune and title than in a long and happy marriage.

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Running out of material?

    • By laall on 05-08-13

    Regular price: $27.99

    • Best Kept Secret: Clifton Chronicles, Book 3

    • By: Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated by: Alex Jennings
    • Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 144
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 127
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 128

    1945. The vote in the House of Lords as to who should inherit the Barrington family fortune has ended in a tie. The Lord Chancellor’s deciding vote will cast a long shadow on the lives of Harry Clifton and Giles Barrington. Harry returns to America to promote his latest novel, while his beloved Emma goes in search of the little girl who was found abandoned in her father’s office on the night he was killed. When the General Election is called, Giles Barrington has to defend his seat

    • 2 out of 5 stars
    • Disappointing

    • By Lyn on 08-08-13

    Regular price: $21.31

  • Book 4

    • Be Careful What You Wish For

    • Clifton Chronicles, Book 4
    • By: Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated by: Alex Jennings
    • Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 120
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 114
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 111

    Be Careful What You Wish For opens with Harry Clifton and his wife, Emma, rushing to hospital to learn the fate of their son, Sebastian, who has been involved in a fatal car accident. But who died, Sebastian or his best friend Bruno?

    When Ross Buchanan is forced to resign as chairman of the Barrington Shipping Company, Emma Clifton wants to replace him. But Don Pedro Martinez intends to install his puppet, the egregious Major Alex Fisher, in order to destroy the Barrington family firm just as the company plans to build its new luxury liner, the MV Buckingham.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • OK - But not from the top shelf

    • By Martin on 03-25-14

    Regular price: $23.44

    • Be Careful What You Wish For

    • The Clifton Chronicles, Book 4
    • By: Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated by: Alex Jennings
    • Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,171
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,931
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,928

    Be Careful What You Wish For opens with Harry Clifton and his wife Emma rushing to the hospital to learn the fate of their son, Sebastian, who has been involved in a fatal car accident. But who died, Sebastian or his best friend Bruno? When Ross Buchanan is forced to resign as chairman of the Barrington Shipping Company, Emma Clifton wants to replace him. But Don Pedro Martinez intends to install his puppet, the egregious Major Alex Fisher, in order to destroy the Barrington family firm just as the company plans to build its new luxury liner, the MV Buckingham.

    • 2 out of 5 stars
    • The demise of a great, fun author

    • By cristina on 03-31-14

    Regular price: $27.99

  • Book 5

    • Mightier than the Sword

    • By: Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated by: Alex Jennings
    • Length: 12 hrs and 55 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,230
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,976
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,953

    Harry Clifton is more successful than ever as a novelist, and has just been elected president of PEN Britain. He learns of a writer in Russia whose memoir of life inside Stalin's palace has landed the writer in prison for life, his book taken off shelves and destroyed. Harry becomes obsessed with freeing the writer and telling his story. His wife Emma, meanwhile is the chair of Barringtons Shipping, having escaped a plot to destroy their company by bombing one of their luxury liners, and now the company is thriving.

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Better Then the Last Two

    • By Joel on 04-26-15

    Regular price: $27.99

    • Mightier than the Sword: Clifton Chronicles, Book 5

    • By: Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated by: Alex Jennings
    • Length: 12 hrs and 56 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 109
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 100
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 99

    When the bomb goes off, how many passengers on the Buckingham lose their lives? You will only find out if you read the opening chapter of  Mightier than the Sword. When Harry visits his publisher in New York, he's told that he's been elected the new president of English PEN and immediately launches a campaign for the release of a fellow author, Anatoly Babakov, who's imprisoned in a Russian gulag in Siberia.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Fabulous reads

    • By Mark on 03-19-15

    Regular price: $23.34

  • Book 6

    • Cometh the Hour

    • The Clifton Chronicles, Book 6
    • By: Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated by: Alex Jennings
    • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 70
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 66
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 66

    Cometh the Hour opens with the reading of a suicide note, which has devastating consequences for Harry and Emma Clifton, Giles Barrington and Lady Virginia. Giles must decide if he should withdraw from politics and try to rescue Karin, the woman he loves, from behind the Iron Curtain. But is Karin truly in love with him, or is she a spy?

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Can't wait for the next book in the Clifton Cronicles

    • By Brenda on 08-11-16

    Regular price: $23.44

    • Cometh the Hour

    • By: Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated by: Alex Jennings
    • Length: 13 hrs and 5 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,155
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,929
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,913

    Cometh the Hour opens with the reading of a suicide note, which has devastating consequences for Harry and Emma Clifton, Giles Barrington, and Lady Virginia. Giles must decide if he should withdraw from politics and try to rescue Karin, the woman he loves, from behind the Iron Curtain. But is Karin truly in love with him, or is she a spy? Lady Virginia is facing bankruptcy and can see no way out of her financial problems until she is introduced to the hapless Cyrus T. Grant III from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Less eventful than the others.

    • By Daniel McAfee on 02-23-16

    Regular price: $27.99

  • Book 7

    • This Was a Man

    • The Clifton Chronicles, Book 7
    • By: Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated by: Alex Jennings
    • Length: 12 hrs and 46 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars 85
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 77
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 77

    This Was a Man opens with a shot being fired, but who pulled the trigger, and who lives, and who dies? In Whitehall, Giles Barrington discovers the truth about his wife, Karin, from the Cabinet Secretary. Is she a spy or a pawn in a larger game? Harry Clifton sets out to write his magnum opus while his wife, Emma, completes her 10 years as Chairman of the Bristol Royal Infirmary and receives an unexpected call from Margaret Thatcher offering her a job.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • This was a Man

    • By Anonymous User on 12-26-17

    Regular price: $23.44

    • This Was a Man

    • The Clifton Chronicles, Book 7
    • By: Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated by: Alex Jennings
    • Length: 12 hrs and 47 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,094
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 1,925
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,906

    This Was a Man opens with a shot being fired, but who pulled the trigger, and who lives and who dies? In Whitehall, Giles Barrington discovers the truth about his wife, Karin, from the cabinet secretary. Is she a spy or a pawn in a larger game? Harry Clifton sets out to write his magnum opus while his wife, Emma, completes her 10 years as chairman of the Bristol Royal Infirmary and receives an unexpected call from Margaret Thatcher offering her a job.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • A fitting conclusion to an amazing series

    • By TP on 11-20-16

    Regular price: $27.99