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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Two short reviews - Cynthia Harrod Eagles The Tangled Thread & The Devil's Horse




Doing two short reviews. I think this is my last of the books I have by this author. I have absolutely loved the Morland Dynasty books and though I have read and reviewed it not in any particular order, I feel that anyone who likes historical fiction would be happy with these books with its wealth of detail not just of the Morlands but also of the times the book was set.  Specially of interest is the detail of developments of its time - the railway, suffragettes, the numerous wars. The wealth of detail is immense and educates and interests you at the same time.


This deviates from its background of English history and takes us to France on the brink of Revolution. We have the bastard Henri worried and rightly so of his daughter's future in an increasingly volatile France and his alliance for the girl with a revolutionary of all people. In the ensuing bloodbath Henri like many others goes to the guillotine and Heloise flees to her Morland connections who welcome her with much warmth.

In Yorkshire Jemima wonders what she has done to deserve children who do not want to marry. She is worried for the future of the Morland dynasty. By the end of the book three of her children have married but Lucy her youngest, and her rebel seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth. Run away to sea, disguised as a boy and has done this very successfully.


Describing the Railway - what pandemonium it created when it was first started, the book deals with the Industrial Development of Britain, the introduction of the railways to Liverpool and Manchester and the possibility of introducing it to Yorkshire in the future. The furore it created and will create with families deeply divided on the issue is also brought into effect with the Morland family itself with Nicholas and Benedict deeply divided on this and many issues.

In Manchester Sophie's ideas of improving the lot of her workmen is met with violent opposition. No one seemed to think that improved housing with its attendent improvement in health conditions of workers would in any way benefit the manufacturers!!!! the owners of these mills seemed to be so feudal and they wanted things to remain the same. They felt that Sophie and Jasper were betraying "their class" by behaving like this.  We have Rosamund and her disastrous marriage and the consequences of that marriage which will last a generation or two.

Altogether two delightful books.


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