The Dark Rose Paperback
Part of the The Morland Dynasty series
1501: the turbulence of Henry VIII's reign brings passion and pain to the Morlands as they achieve ever greater wealth and prestige. Paul, great-grandsom of Elanor Morland, has inherited the Morland estates, and his own Amyas is set to be his heir.
But Paul fathers a beloved illigitimate son, and bitter jealousy causes a destructive rift between the two half-brothers which will lead to death.
Paul's niece, Nanette, becomes a maid-in-waiting to Anne Bolyen, and at the court of Henry VIII she becomes embroiled in the King's bitter feud with Rome. Through birth and death, love and hatred, triumph and heartbreak, the Morlands continue proudly to claim their place amongst England's aristocracy.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 560 pages, geneal. table
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date: 31/12/1981
- Category: Historical fiction
- ISBN: 9780751503838
- EPUB from £7.49
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.
Review by Kasthu
As usual, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles places a strong female character in the lead; this time, of course, it’s Nannette. But the author never makes her characters seem too modern, which is what I like in historical fiction. Since Nannette is at court, she is present to witness history being made, and as such we see all six of Henry VIII’s wives (though only two get speaking parts). Too, I was fascinated here with how the introduction of Protestantism affected the Morland family; it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out over time.
Review by celticlady53
This, the second book in the Morland Dynasty series begins in 1501 around the time that King Henry VII dies and ends during King Edward VI's reign or actually the Regency's reign. Interspersed with the history of the Tudors is the fictional family the Morlands. It is a story of continuing court intrique, treachery, love and hate during a time in history where a person could be charged with treason just by saying the wrong thing or following the 'wrong' religion. Most everyone knows the story of Henry VIII so I will not go into detail. It is a story about the Catholics and the Protestants and the struggle that ensues. The first third of the book surrounds the life of Paul Morland, great grandson of Eleanor Morland. It tells of the marriages and births and deaths within the family. There was a lot of intermarrying within the cousins. This was a very common practice at that time to keep the bloodlines pure and to keep lands and other holdings within a family. There were also illegitimate children born of the Morland family who had no claims to the dynasty. The second part of the book is about the character of Nanette who goes to court and becomes first a friend of, then maid-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn. Nanette forsakes her own happiness for her service to Queen Anne. Nan spends time between the court and her home at Morland. The last part of the book goes into more of Nanette and the other members of the Morland family, the next generations if you will.As in any epic style novel, there are characters too numerous to mention, some historical inaccuracies, wars, deaths, births, jealousy between siblings and also happiness. I enjoyed this book as I did the first one in the series and look forward to the next in the series. For the person who loves a great story and a very interesting time in the history of England will be sure to like The Dark Rose.
Review by AdonisGuilfoyle
On her website, author Cynthia Harrod Eagles writes that the original plan for the Morland Dynasty series was to cover 500 years of British history in twelve volumes, presumably fictionalising the past to make a lot of dry old dates and names more interesting. Only, the characters she created started to fill more and more of the pages, and the author admits to getting carried away with history: <i>"For one thing, I found I wanted to include so much more than had been planned for: not just the kings, battles and Parliaments, but how people lived, what they wore and ate, how they gave birth and died, how they built their houses and related to their servants, how they travelled, what they believed in."</i> And her devotion shows. Even in the second part of the now thirty-strong Morland series, set during the reign of Henry the Eighth, Cynthia Harrod Eagles' passion for historical detail and her incredible skill for combining fact with fiction are what drive the story on, and compel the reader to stick with such a wordy novel. History is told from a human angle, and the ever-increasing Morlands are at the heart of the action. <i>The Dark Rose</i> begins with Paul, Eleanor's great-grandson (I must confess to being confused by the different generations, and needing to refer back to the family tree), and overlaps into the story of Nanette, Paul's half-brother's eldest daughter. (I think.) Paul is initially nothing more than a man of the age, abusing his wife and keeping a mistress, but he grows into a more sympathetic character after suffering the usual grief and hardships of life. His relationship with 'Little Bear' is touching in the extreme, and the carved symbol of his love for her is another of Cynthia Harrod Eagles' neat touches. Nanette is another Eleanor, a strong woman who holds together the family through each new generation. She becomes a close friend to both Ann Boleyn and Katherine Parr, and observes the many intrigues of Henry the Eighth's court firsthand, outliving the larger than life monarch to counsel his young daughter, Elizabeth.I know the bare bones of Henry's reign, of course, but Cynthia Harrod Eagles really fleshed out both the man and the king for me. His portrayal is honest but fair, told in part from Anne Boleyn's point of view, but with sympathy for Henry's position. He needed male heirs to secure the royal line and prevent civil war after his death, and although he genuinely seemed to love his wives, duty to his country always came first. Fascinating.For any lovers of historical fiction who haven't tasted Cynthia Harrod Eagles' Morland Dynasty, start now!