The King's General ePUB È The King's PDF \

Alternate cover available hereHonor Harris is only 18 when she first meets Richard Grenvile proud reckless and utterly captivating But following a riding accident Honor must reconcile herself to a life alone As Richard rises through the ranks of the army marries and makes enemies Honor remains true to him and finally discovers the secret of Menabilly

10 thoughts on “The King's General

  1. says:

    “When the water drains from the marshes and little by little the yellow sands appear rippling and hard and firm it seems to my foolish fancy as I lie here that I too go seaward with the tide and all my old hidden dreams that I thought buried for all time are bare and naked to the day just as the shells and the stones are on the sands”It seems to me that Daphne du Maurier can do no wrong As of today I have read nine of her works including seven novels and two collections of short stories Five of these I’ve awarded the illustrious five stars and the rest a notable four stars I love her writing to pieces Like a schoolgirl being asked to prom I become unreasonably giddy just at the thought of picking up one of her books Confession For a brief moment I was skeptical about picking up The King’s General At first glance it seemed to be classified heavily towards historical fiction rather than the Gothic mystery which I find so alluring in du Maurier’s hands All those fears were wiped out when I read the very first page Yes this is historical fiction it takes place during the English Civil War with the supporters of Charles I the Royalists pit against the Parliamentarians However it’s much than that – it’s a mystery a tragedy and a romance The Gothic element is clearly there complete with a sprawling mansion secret passages and the whisperings of a ghost And the icing on an already scrumptious cake – the setting is Cornwall Honor Harris and Richard Grenville meet when Honor is eighteen and Richard ten years her senior Both are passionate and headstrong and there is an instant chemistry between the two But this is du Maurier and romance in her hands is not of the sweet saccharine variety Their love is cursed from the start although never truly extinguished Honor Harris tells us their story looking back after a period of years “I will say for Richard what he never said for himself and I will show how despite his bitter faults and failings it was possible for a woman to love him with all her heart and mind and body and I that woman”Richard is indeed a flawed hero if we can in fact call him a hero He’s courageous brazen and loyal to those that have earned his admiration and trust He is also bitter and vengeful and his morals slide into that slippery gray area Honor is most certainly the heroine of the novel and du Maurier’s use of the first person narration here is extremely effective The reader can understand her very intimately – what drives her devotion to Richard and how her pride has affected the lives of others She’s intelligent and perceptive and many of her kinfolk look to her for advice and security Her faithful servant Matty is her constant ally and I would go so far as to call her something of a heroine in her own right A drama like this one naturally has to have a villain as well Who is this villain you wonder? Well du Maurier doesn’t necessarily make this completely evident either This seems to be a trademark of her work – the ambiguous nature of some of the characters that leave the reader with many questions long after finishing the last page think My Cousin Rachel On the surface she’s written Gartred Richard’s bewitching sister as what should be the obvious villainess You’ll have to decide for yourself if she fits neatly into this label or not When Honor describes Gartred to the reader she does so with the perfect analogy I couldn’t help but think of those blood red rhododendrons that greet the second Mrs de Winter upon her arrival to Manderley “There was one flower an orchid that grew alone it was the color of pale ivory with one little vein of crimson running through the petals The scent filled the house honeyed and sickly sweet It was the loveliest flower I had ever seen I stretched out my hand to stroke the soft velvet sheen and swiftly my uncle pulled me by the shoulder ‘Don’t touch it child The stem is poisonous’”I could go on talking for ages about the excellent characterization the breathtaking scenery the trademark mysterious atmosphere the clever foreshadowing and the remarkable writing that I have found in this and all of du Maurier’s work I should also mention that I learned so much than I could have imagined about the English Civil War and in particular the battles that were fought on Cornish ground When I finished however I realized that I hadn’t been put through some grueling history lesson but rather an enthralling account of what it would have been like for both the soldiers and the civilians during this time It’s as if du Maurier wielded her inventive pen and waved her magical wand – by the end not only had I been swept away by the people and their hopes and dreams their fears and insecurities and their passions but I had also been enlightened on a period of history that I knew little about This is another clear favorite “Time heals all wounds say the complacent but I think it is not so much time that does it as determination of the spirit And the spirit can often turn to devil in the darkness”