Monday, 30 September 2019

The King's General

Finished September 13
The King's General by Daphne du Maurier

I picked this up as I like Daphne du Maurier's books and hadn't heard of this one. It is set in Cornwall, during the first half of the seventeenth century. Honor Harris is the younger sister of a few older brothers, and she first meets one of the Grenville family when her brother marries one of the women, Gartred. Gartred is haughty and manipulative and Honor sees past her charm to these aspects of her personality, something not many do. A few years later, on her eighteenth birthday, when the family is visiting Devon, she meets the men of the family, including Richard, the man who will be a big part of her life.
Honor's tale is told in retrospect, as she lives in a small house, lent to her and one of her brothers by a local landowner and friend. It is 1653, and Oliver Cromwell is now in charge in England, and Richard Grenville is in exile in France, with the King. He is a man who knows his own mind and doesn't suffer fools, and there is something in Honor's spirit that attracted him from the first he met her. Although they never married, there is a strong bond between them, and for many years, she was the woman he turned to for comfort and who watched his back.
This is a story of a love that could have been, a military leader ahead of his time, and a people who tried to keep their independence against a punishing conqueror. I found it a very enlightening read, especially as it is based on real historical events and people.

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