The Founding by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
The Founding by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Ebook and Trade Paperback
Series: #1 in the Morland Dynasty Series
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication Date: 1980 (originally), 2010 (this edition)
Pages: 539
Source: Purchased

The Book:
From the publisher:

Seeking power and prestige, grim, ambitious Yorkshireman Edward Morland arranges a marriage between his meek son Robert and spirited Eleanor, young ward of the influential Beaufort family. Eleanor is appalled at being forced to marry a mere “sheep farmer”; she is, after all, secretly in love with Richard, Duke of York.

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.

My Thoughts:
This was actually a reread for me. I originally read this back in 2011. I picked up the second in the series a few months later but never got around to reading it. When I was weeding out my bookshelves a few months ago, I kept the second in the series but decided to reread this one before moving on to The Dark Rose.

This is a rather daunting series currently at 35 books. It’s unlikely I’ll ever read them all but who knows. It could happen. The series follows the descendants of the characters introduced in The Founding from the 1400’s up to the latest book set in the 1930’s. I’m not sure if there are more books to come in the series.

I love a big family saga. This is probably the saga-est saga there is. This first book covers the period of the Wars of the Roses. Eleanor Morland aligns her family firmly with the Yorkists. So, it’s going to be interesting to see how things are going for the family in the next book with the Tudors on the throne.

It’s interesting and entertaining historical fiction. Plenty of real historical figures make appearances. Eleanor is the main character of this book and while there are things about her that I liked there are other things about her that are awful. Her many children and grandchildren become involved in the second half of the book and the family tree was quite helpful in keeping all the similarly named people straight.

I enjoyed this one the first time and enjoyed it just as much the second time.

4 stars Rating 4/5