Written by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, The Morland Dynasty is a series of historical novels about the Morland family of York, England, but also about their national and international relatives and associates.
From the Wars of the Roses in 1434 to the Wall Street Crash and more during the 1920s and 1930s, the series explores the lives of fictional characters in a real historical background.
How to Read The Morland Dynasty Books in Order?
- The Founding – Seeking power and prestige, grim, ambitious Edward Morland arranges a marriage between his son Robert and spirited Eleanor, young ward of the influential Beaufort family. Eleanor is appalled at being forced to marry a mere “sheep farmer”. Yet from this apparently ill-matched union, Robert and Eleanor form a surprising connection that soon will be tested by a bloody civil war that divides families, sets neighbor against neighbor, and brings tragedy close to home.
- The Dark Rose – It is 1501, and Paul, great-grandson of Eleanor Morland, has inherited the estate and has a son to follow him. But he fathers an illegitimate boy by his beloved mistress, and bitter jealously between the half-brothers causes a destructive rift that threatens to destroy them all.
- The Princeling – The Morlands’ rise to power, as tenuous as it was unexpected, now faces its greatest threat. Elizabeth I is on the throne and Protestantism is sweeping the land, threatening the position of the Catholic Morlands and forcing them to seek new spheres of influence. John, the heir, rides north to the untamed Borderlands to wed the daughter of a Northumberland cattle lord. But he finds he must first prove himself and win her heart through blood and battle.
- The Oak Apple – 1630: after long years of peace the reign of Charles I brings brutal civil war to England. The clash between King and Parliament is echoed at Morland Place when Richard brings home a Puritan bride while his brother, Kit, joins Prince Rupert and the Royalist cavalry, leaving their father Edmund desperately trying to steer a middle course between the fighting factions.
- The Black Pearl – 1659: Cromwell’s protectorate is drawing to a close, and the restoration of the monarchy can only improve the fortunes of the Morland family. The years of civil war and their aftermath have left Morland Place in dire straits, but with the return of the King, Ralph Morland believes he can rebuild the family estates.
- The Long Shadow – 1670: King Charles II’s reign has brought peace and prosperity to the Morland family, but James II’s ascent to the throne will shatter their restored fortunes. In Yorkshire, Morland Place has flourished during the Restoration, and in London the beautiful and sprited Annunciata, is now Countess of Chelmsford, a wealthy and well-connected woman, intimate with the Royal Family. But storm clouds gather over them all when the reign of James II brings rebellion and discord.
- The Chevalier – 1689: the Restoration enabled the Morland family to restore their own fortune, but now the Jacobite rebellion brings another threat to their security. Annuciata Morland, fiercely loyal to the Stuart cause, follows her beloved king into exile. She leaves her grandson, Matt, to oversee Morland Place in her absence. Without her wise presence, Matt finds himself in an arranged marriage to India Neville and at the mercy of a woman as heartless as she is beautiful.
- The Maiden – 1720: political intrigue besets the kingdom as the Stuarts try to claim the throne occupied by the Hanoverians and the Morlands have to use all their wiles to keep their fortunes intact. Jeremy Morland, sole heir to his father’s will, has no option but to marry to cold-hearted Lady Mary to secure Hanoverian protection and safeguard his inheritance. Then the rebellion of ’45 and the bloody massacre at Culloden thrust his daughter Jemima into the spotlight as the saviour of the family.
- The Flood-Tide – 1772: Althought George III reigns over a peaceful England, his colonies in the Americas are claiming independence and a tide of revolutionary fervour is gripping France. Allen Morland and his beloved wife Jemimas work unstintingly to bring Morland Palce back to its former glory. Their seven children often bring them heartache, but they are sustained by their love of each other. The Mordland adventurer, Charles, emingrates to Maryland in persuit of the heiress Eugenie, but finds himself in the midst of the American claim for indepdence.
- The Tangled Thread – 1788: the bloody revolution in France causes upheaval in the Morland family. Henri-Marie Fitzjames Stuart, bastard offshoot of the Morland family, strives to protect his daughter, Heloise, his mistress, Marie-France, and their son Morland. To this end, he binds Heloise to a loveless marriage with a Revolutionary, and allies himself with the great Danton. But in the bloodbath of the guillotine and the fall of Danton, Henri-Marie loses his head and Heloise flees to England.
- The Emperor – 1795: the shadow of Bonaparte has fallen across Europe and touches each member of the far-flung Morland family. As the century draws to a close, Jemima Morland wearily ackowledges that her life is also nearing its end, but she has scant peace as her unpredictable children behave ever more incomprehensibly.
- The Victory – 1803: Napoleon is poised to invade England, with only Nelson’s weather-beaten ships in his way, but the French fleet are not the only threat to the fortunes of the Morland family. In the North of England, Mary Ann’s relationship with the missionary, Father Rathbone, introduces her to the stark realities of life in plague-torn Manchester.
- The Regency – 1807: the Napoleonic Wars continue and their violence reverberates in the lives of the Morland family. Lucy trying to rebuild her life after the death of her lover, Captain Weston, is thrown into doubt and confusion by an unexpected proposal of marriage. At Morland Place, the hard-won happiness of James and Heloise is threatened by his rebellious daughter, Fanny.
- The Campaigners – 1815: Napoleon’s escape from Elba and the preparations for battle entangle the Morland family in a web of romance and heartbreak. The Allied Army is gathering in Flanders, and where the army is. For Heloise it brings a renewed acquaintance with her former suitor, to Duc de Veslne-d’Estienne; while Rosamund must finally come to terms with her feelings for her cousin Marcus; and for Sophie, a meeting with an enigmatic French major could well alter her future.
- The Reckoning – 1816: Napoleon has at last been defeated, but victory brings no peace to the English. The cost of war strikes deep into the country and hungry men are easily stirred to protest. Amid this turbulence, Heloise and James stand guard over Morland Place when a tragic accident strikes at the very heart of the family, taking one person on whom they all depend.
- The Devil’s Horse – 1820: the landscape of England is undergoing sweeping change as the country pioneers the steam-driven machine age. The Morlands, too, face change: Cousin Africa returns from St Helena to startle society with her unconventional ideas; Lucy brings her sons home from their Grand Tour, brimming with ideas for their future.
- The Poison Tree – 1831: as England emerges from the post-war depression, the country is changing, and the birth pains of the Reform Act bring it to the brink of revolution. The violent times breed violent acts, both outside and inside the Morland family. Sophie’s life is shattered by a hideous crime. Rosamund learns that achieving her dreams brings as much pain as pleasure.
- The Abyss – 1833: the industrial age is sweeping through England and the Stephensons are planning the greatest engineering scheme ever undertaken – a railway line from Liverpool to London. At Morland Place, Nicholas had hoped that his brother Benedict, had been banished forever, but railway fever has brought Benedict back to Yorkshire as an engineer on the Leeds & Selby line.
- The Hidden Shore – 1843: the early years of Queen Victoria’s reign witnessed much high-level debate at the Palace of Westminster, but nothing can interfere with Society’s enjoyment of the Season. When Charlotte Meldon’s father dies, she believes herself to be destitute, but a lawyer’s letter reveals that she is not only part of the great Morland family, but wealthy and a countess in her own right.
- The Winter Journey – 1851: the fortunes of the Morland family are more buoyant than they have been for years. Morland Place is recovering under Benjamin’s steady hands. Charlotte, now Duchess of Southport, is shortly to give birth to her second child and is on the point of opening her modern hospital for the poor. Then the storms in Europe spilled into Britain when the army is forced to defend Turkey against the Tsar.
- The Outcast – Benedict Morland’s comfortable life is overset when an old enemy’s dying wish leaves him guardian of an orphaned boy. No-one, including his wife Sibella, can understand why Benedict accepts Lennox Mynott into his household and, amid growing hostility at Morland Place, he takes the boy to America, to join his daughter Mary at Twelvetrees Plantation. Here, Benedict fall in love with the Southern way of life, just at the moment when bitter civil war is about to destroy it forever.
- The Mirage – George Morland, newly master of Morland Place, embarks on a grand improvement and expansion of the estate. His sister Henrietta, eager to be both good and useful, marries the scholarly rector, Mr Fortescue. And in London, their cousin Lady Venetia Fleetwood, moved by the medical horrors of the Franco-Prussian war, sets out to become a doctor. The Morlands have to come to terms with hard reality, and find their happiness in other, unexpected places.
- The Cause – The forthcoming marriage of Venetia, eldest daughter of the Duke of Southport, and ‘Beauty’ Winchmore is the talk of London society, and a match which has the full support of Venetia’s parents. But just weeks before the wedding Venetia cries off – unable to accept that her husband-to-be will forbid her to study medicine. And within weeks of her shameful behaviour her father is dead and she is ostracised from her family.
- The Homecoming – Freed from her miserable marriage by widowhood, Henrietta is at last able to marry her beloved Jerome Compton, but his divorced state means that they have to make their home away from Yorkshire. Settling in London, Henrietta finds she takes to urban life with great enjoyment, as does her daughter Lizzie, but clouds are gathering on the horizon and when the deluge comes one of them is forced out of society. Yet it proves more of a homecoming than an exile.
- The Question – In the last years of the nineteenth century the Morlands’ fortunes are changing for the better, as Henrietta and Jerome find a true home at Morland Place, and Teddy ploughs his profits into restoring it to its former glory. But the reverses and cruelties of the Boer War and the death of Queen Victoria shake the foundations of a confident nation.
- The Dream Kingdom – Edwardian England is a country at the peak of its power; a kingdom of peace, prosperity and progress. As Jessie and Violet enjoy their coming-out in the glittering Season of 1908, their thoughts are of pleasure, dancing and falling in love. It is an exciting age, with new technologies extending man’s control over the natural world.
- The Restless Sea – England in 1912 still bears itself with Edwardian confidence, but strikes, protests and public violence reveal the fault lines as society evolves under the spur of new ideas and technology. Among the many branches of the Morland family, Jessie and Violet, childhood friends, learn to cope with the surprises of marriage and motherhood and their different strata of society.
- The White Road – August 1914: the whole country is thrilled by the declaration of war. The British Expeditionary Force goes off to France to defend gallant little Belgium, and thousands more young men rush to volunteer, hoping to see action before the war ends at Christmas. At home, everyone competes to be doing the most for the war effort. The Morlands have their share of volunteers, and no-one can say they aren’t at the very heart of things.
- The Burning Roses – In 1915, the first euphoria of the war has worn off, but the nation is more determined than ever to win. When Ned is sent to the Front ahead of his battalion, Jessie, already involved in various charity works, feels the need to do more and becomes an auxiliary nurse. But life on the wards is harder than she expects.
- The Measure of Days – 1916. England is at war, and the Morland family is in the thick of it, with two men already in France and three more soon to go. Tragedy strikes Morland Place when Jessie’s husband Ned is reported missing on the Western Front. His father launches a desperate bid to find him, but the family fears the worst.
- The Foreign Field – It’s 1917 and the Allies are determined to finally defeat a weakened Germany. But Germany strikes back with U-boat attacks to starve England out, giant aeroplanes to bomb London, and the cunning withdrawal to the Hindenberg Line. Every Briton must do his bit, and the Morlands are involved at every stage.
- The Fallen Kings – 1918: German troops flood back from the Eastern Front for an all-out assault in France before the Americans can join the war. The under-strength British retreat, and for the first time the real possibility of defeat comes home to a shocked nation. At the front, Bertie struggles to bring his battered battalion out safely, while at home Jessie, secretly carrying his child, knows that sooner or later she must face her family’s censure.
- The Dancing Years – 1919. As the euphoria of the Armistice fades, the nation counts the cost: millions dead or disabled, unemployment, strikes and shortages. As prices and taxes rise, it becomes harder to remember what the war was for. Teddy tries to recreate balance but then a trip to France to see the place where Ned fell has unforeseen consequences; Polly, grieving for Erich Kuppel, persuades her father to send her to New York.
- The Winding Road – 1925. England has put the war behind it, and hope is in the air. The Jazz Age is in full swing in New York, where Polly Morland is the most feted beauty of the day. But a proposal of marriage from the powerful, enigmatic Ren Alexander takes her by surprise. Her cousin Lennie worries that no one knows much about Ren; but his attempts to find out more threaten disaster.
- The Phoenix – It is 1931 and the world is still reeling from the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash. Polly Morland has returned to Morland Place, saving it from financial ruin. Her plans to change things are met with resistance, however, and she must prove her mettle in a man’s world.
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