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The Princeling by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

The Princeling (1981)

by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

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1586115,728 (3.74)10
Protestantism is sweeping the land and threatens the position of the Catholic Morlands, so they must seek new spheres of influence. John, the heir, rides north to the untamed Boderlands to wed the daughter to Black Will Percy, Northumberland cattle lord. But he finds he must first prove himself, and win her heart through blood and battle. John's gentle sister Littice is given in marriage to the ruthless Scottish baron, Lord Robert Hamilton, and in the treacherous court of Mary, Queen of Scots, she learns the fierce lessons of survival.… (more)



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Or, The One Where Everyone Dies. Seriously! If a character is too beautiful/happy/accomplished/good to be true, then chances are they won't survive to the end of the novel. And the child mortality rate is through the roof, even for Elizabethan times. Fever, plague, mothers dying in childbed (and women generally being worn out, after averaging roughly a pregancy a year), and even a murder claim the lives of Morlands young and old in this third instalment. I despaired of there being enough family members left to continue the series by the time Nanette finally succumbed to old age, but continued inter-marrying and a few successful births bode well for the future.

Death and decimation aside, I didn't really feel there was much of a story to The Princeling, more a series of births, deaths and marriages running alongside the factious reign of Good Queen Bess. Nanette lives on, trying to hold the family together, but there isn't really a central character for this novel, like Eleanor in the first book, and Nanette of course in The Dark Rose. The 'Princeling' of the title refers to John Morland's warrior bride, Mary Percy, but their isolated and intense relationship wasn't very convincing or sympathetic. The only emotion stirred in me by that thread of the narrative was tears at the death of a beloved dog! Other domestic dramas included Lettice's turbulent marriage to a cruel-hearted Scottish baron, William running off to become an actor, and Nanette's adopted son finding out the truth of his parentage.

Despite the lack of family tree with the Kindle edition - a necessary guide when reading the Morland novels - I did get to know the new generation of characters, and was able to lose myself in the story, which is Cynthia Harrod-Eagles' great skill, I think. This family, and the tangled web of cousins marrying cousins, starting new lives and mourning the loss of countless others, really draws the reader in. Not only do the personal lives of the Morlands matter, but history starts to make sense, too - here, Nanette returns to Court, to serve Queen Elizabeth, and the family is divided on the matter of the old religion and the new, enforced Protestant faith.

I'm hooked, and I have already downloaded number four, The Oak Apple - I only hope that there is a family tree attached and far less typos in the next novel! ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Jan 6, 2012 |
The Princeling is the third book in this series by Cynthia Harrod Eagles. This book continues to follow the Morlands in the era of Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. As each book delves further into the Morland Dynasty, it also follows the real lives of the aristocracy in the late 1500'sand ends approximately 1558. There is love, death, lust and hatred aplenty and that is just between members of the family. This story has a lot of characters from the previous book , The Dark Rose and introduces new characters within the family and in history. In the background there is still controversy between the Protestants and the Catholics that tears families and the country of England and Scotland apart. There is plenty of political intrigue between the factions of Queen Mary and Elizabeth I also. I am thoroughly enjoying this series and hope to continue with it. If you enjoy English history and all the intrigue that goes along with it, this is the series for you. ( )
  celticlady53 | Oct 21, 2010 |
Book 3 of the Morland Dynasty dos not disappoint, Queen Elizabeth I is on the throne and the book takes an indepth look at how this affects the lives of the Morlands. My review can be found on my book review blog Rundpinne: http://www.rundpinne.com/2010/10/book-review-the-princeling-by-cynthia-harrod-ea... ( )
  knittingmomof3 | Oct 7, 2010 |
This is the third book in the Morland Dynasty series that I have read - and I have to admit that I am still smitten with both the series and with the writing style of Ms. Harrod-Eagles
You can find my reviews of the first two books in the series "The Founding" and "The Dark Rose" on my book blog at http://booksbythewillowtree.blogspot.com.

"The Princeling" takes place during the reign of Elizabeth I when the tensions between Protestants and Catholics (the Morland clan) are at their peak. The religious tension of the times does not escape the Morland family where some members have come to embrace the 'new' religion while other family members cling to the faith of their forbears.

Ms. Harrod-Eagles keeps the sub-plots intricately and adeptly woven and the fabric of the lives of the Morlands is revealed - replete with a real 'feel' for what life would have been like during this period of spiritual tumult. There are many characters in this book and their lives, through births and deaths, are strongly interwoven - but I did not find it all difficult to follow each family member as they moved through their lives and affected the lives of their family. Some chose to leave the family whilst others remained. One son, William, leaves to pursue a career as an actor in the seedier parts of London. Another son, John, who is the Morland heir, heads North to the Borderlands where he meets and marries Mary, the bold, challenging daughter of cattle lord 'Black' Will Percy. One of the Morland sisters, Lettice - the gentle one of the clan- is married to a pitiless Scots Baron, Lord Hamilton ,who life revolves around the treachery within the Court of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Each time I finish a book in this series I am ready to read the next one. In fact I think it would be best if I was, indeed, able to have the whole series on hand - ready to read one after the other. I don't believe that I would become bored with the reading and I know that I could maintain the relationship continuity more easily if I had multiple volumes ready to read on my bedside table. Sourcebooks has done a wonderful job in re-releasing this excellent series. Better covers, nice paper and a good font choice all make the reading even easier. You can see the entire series-to-be on Cynthia Harrod Eagle's website along with more information about the Morland lands and Yahoo discussion group.

I am, as you can tell, a real fan of this excellent series. Whilst the characters may be fictitious the history and the 'feel' of these books are based on real happenings, buildings and history, all of which Ms.Harrod-Eagles explains quite well on her website. She also has a handy page that places the volumes of the series in order. I am ready for the next couple of books "The Oak Apple" and "The Black Pearl". Obviously, I highly recommend this series. It's highly addictive! ( )
1 vote zquilts | Sep 7, 2010 |
The Princeling is the third book in the Morland Dynasty. In this book, the story moves away from Morland Place for a while, as John Morland moves north to marry Mary Percy, and his sister Lettice marries a Scottish lord, Robert Hamilton. The sins of the previous generation come back to haunt the younger, as Jan Chapham learns secrets about his past.

Sence the novel covers fifty years of history, all of them eventful, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles has a lot of ground to cover. At times it seems as though it’s too much; the story jumps from event to event, sometimes skimming over the family’s story in favor of touching on the major historical events of the period. But the story of the Morland family is still addictive, as ever, and it was interesting to me to see how the family interacted ( )
1 vote Kasthu | Mar 20, 2009 |
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With thanks to C, T, and G, the real Southbank Trinity. Et in Arcadia Ego, lads.
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The solar at Watermill House was warm and steamy and fragrant with rosemary and canomile from the bathwater in the tub in front of the fire.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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THE PRINCELING is the third volume in the Dynasty Series which follows the fortunes of the Morlands, a Yorkshire wool family from the Wars of the Roses to World War II. A story which began in THE FOUNDING, and continued in THE DARK ROSE.
THE PRINCELING is set in the adventurous reign of Elizabeth I. The Catholic Morlands are threatened by the upsurge of Protestantism and forced to seek new spheres of influence, through marriage.
JOHN, heir to Morland Place, rides north to bring back the daughter of Black Will Percy, the Borderland cattle lord. But proud Mary will not have him, and John stays in Redesdale, to live the strange, savage life of the Borders, and learn through blood and battle how to win her heart.
LETTICE, the second Morland, enters the court of Mary, Queen of Scots and weds the harsh, ambitious Lord Robert Hamilton. In a hostile world of treachery and tragedy, the wolfish lord teaches her how to survive and triumph.
In THE PRINCELING, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, with her sweeping style and authoritatively researched background, has written another powerful chapter in the history of the mighty Morland Dynasty, which grows to encompass three great estates - in Yorkshire, Northumberland and Scotland.
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