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Monday, March 5, 2012

Review - Cynthia Harrod Eagles - The Question






I am back to the series and each one is even better than the last! Set in 1898 there seems to be conflicts on every side. This particular author highlights how the family copes in every situation imaginable - set within the broader framework of the world outside the smaller world of the Morland clan. The continuity of the family despite hardships, deprivations and death (so many deaths due to wars, such a tragic waste) must be the identical story to so many families who may be able to identify with such families. The carnage of war, specially during this early period with the lack of hospital and medical facilities at its crudest would have accounted for casualties in equal measure as in face to face combat.

It is almost the end of the Victorian era and the mighty Queen who held it all together is not there to continue her strong hold on Britain. It is also a time of crisis for the women's movement in Britain. It is almost unimaginable for a modern woman who has the vote and who takes it almost for granted, to understand the suffering and the harassment that women faced in obtaining the vote. The fact that men could not even visualize a world where women voted, or where a woman had a career of any kind is also difficult to even read about.

The Boer War comes into focus in this book mainly because of one of the Morland's involvement in it. The futility of war is specially marked in this one - even the soldiers not knowing what they were fighting for, though everyone went into it initially in very high spirits.

On the home front Teddy Morland is doing his utmost to upgrade the family fortunes and with Henrietta's family coming into the house - the house is full of life. There is also very importantly, the introduction of the motor car which is a huge step forward in the field of transportation though the horse still remains a very important part of the Morland economy.

I love the way the Morlands become involved in every aspect of the era - one goes to fight the Boer war, one is at the bedside (almost) of the Queen when she is dying as she is one of her most faithfull Ladies in Waiting and one woman is actually imprisoned in support of the suffragette movement.
This involvement of the Morlands brings the actual events much closer to one.

Another very good book.

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