Honestly, questions like that always put me on the spot, making sure that I’ll come up with embarrassing drivel like, “Oh, RJ, who really killed Asmodean?” or “Margaret Mitchell, did Rhett ever return to Scarlett?”
Might as well clear something up once and for all, and ask Shakespeare who he was.
The Morland Dynasty: The Dark Rose by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
originally published 1981
Genre: Historical fiction, family saga, romance
Synopsis & Review: Picking up about 1509, at the death of Henry Tudor and a couple of decades after Eleanor Courtenay’s death at the end of The Founding, The Dark Rose follows the fortunes of the Morland family throughout the reign of Henry VIII. The first part is chiefly concerned with Paul, Eleanor’s great-grandson, now nominal head of the Morland family, though he is guided by his uncle Richard. Paul is unhappily married to his cousin Anne Butts, and finds love outside in marriage with a young widow called Ursula, who bears him a son, Adrian. Paul also struggles with his jealousy of his half-siblings, whom he believes to be illegitimate, and this burning jealousy shapes much of his early life. Through famine, plague, political intrigue, and social unrest, Paul strives to keep the Morlands whole, and ever rising. Children are fostered with prominent families, and join the court of the King, making connexions and improving the Morland prospects.
The second part follows Anne, called Nanette, the daughter of Paul’s half-brother Jack. After the death fo her parents, Anne fosters out with the Parr family, becoming close friends with their daughter Katherine. Upon maturity, she joins the Court, and is soon fast friends with a lovely girl called Anne Boleyn. The two enjoy the attentions of gallants and all the festivities of court life, until the King’s eye turns to Anne. Nanette proves her loyalty, staying with Anne and serving her throughout the long years of courtship, and her rise to the throne.
The Dark Rose sees the entire reign of Henry VIII, and all that it encompassed: war, famine, pestilence, the break with Rome, and the rise of Protestantism. Among all the graver matters, there are still shearing festivals, weddings, exciting hunts, and all manner of life and the Morlands make the painful transition from mediaeval to modern.
After finishing The Founding, I added The Dark Rose to my hold list at the library. Read the rest of this entry »