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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Review - Cynthia Harrod Eagles THE ABYSS

This was a slightly darker version of the usual Morland dynasty books. All of them considering they covered turbulent periods had their fair share of tragedy, death and destruction. You had the horrors of the Inquisition, the religious intolerance in England itself, the anti European feelings, the suffering of the poor and the plight of women. But, this is different. It brings a certain degree of evil right into Morland Place - which was by and large a very happy house.

Benedict has been estranged from his brother Nicky for years. That alone was due to the evil machinations of Nicky - the eldest and heir apparent. Nicky never seemed to find it enough. He hated Benedict with a vengeance and his banishment even did not make him happy. Now Nicky finds that with the development of the Railway, particularly the idea of bringing it into Yorkshire brings Benedict back into his world and his utter chagrin he finds that despite being put out without a literal penny to his name, Benedict is today a successful engineer with a good reputation and a fair amount of friends.

The animosity on the part of Nicholas spills over into the Railway business and he insidiously tries to prevent the railway ever appearing in Yorkshire. Though Nicholas hates the railways he hates his brother more and tries every unscrupulous method possible including bribery to jeopardise the project.
He succeeds at first in blocking Benedicts plans and though this should have made him happy he seems hell bent on putting an end to Benedict completely. His hatred of his brother is so intense that it borders on the mad and it is this slow sinking of Nicholas which is at the heart of this book.

Though one brother exits the scene it does not have a happy ending for the other. As I said an unsettling book and just glad to get on with the rest of the reads! The development of the Railway, its significance in economic terms was not understood by a fair part of the population which looked on the train as a destroyer - not as a simple means of conveyance.  Even after its inauguration the gentry in particular did not seem to be in favor of the railways (and in England without their support it seemed very difficult to do anything let alone build a railway!)  and it was due to the pioneering spirit of a few far thinking individuals and companies that it seemed to have developed to the extent it did.

I will be away from the blog for a few days. Back to


  1. Enjoy your time away.

    I haven't read anything from this author. I'm glad that you enjoyed it.

  2. The book sounds really good! Enjoy your break!