The Founding by Cynthia Harrod Eagles – Book Review

The Founding by Cynthia Harrod Eagles

Eleanor is an orphan, but she’s a gentlewoman, the ward of Lord Beaufort and companion to his wife. With no dowry, she doesn’t really expect to ever marry. Edward Morland, however, sees an advantage in Eleanor. Morland is no more than a wealthy sheep farmer, but his son Richard is somewhat educated and he wants to bring social cache into their family to mix with their riches and create a powerful family dynasty. Although Eleanor was chosen for her connections and the fact that her lack of dowry makes her attainable for a sheep farmer, but Edward could not have chosen a better bride for his son. Not only is Eleanor very fertile, bringing numerous healthy children into the family, but she is also incredibly strong-willed and savvy. It is her influence, more than anything else, that continues to catapult the family’s fortunes during the tumult of England during the War of the Roses.

The Morland Dynasty series is one I’ve been hearing about for years now, so I was quite excited about reading “The Founding,” which is the first book in the series. I was also a bit hesitant, however. What is my expectations were too high? At 500+ pages that would be a lot of disappointment. Luckily, “The Founding” absolutely lived up to the hype for me. From what I know about this series, it is set against hundreds of years of English history. I enjoy these sorts of books, but sometimes it seems that they simply try too hard to insinuate the main characters into every monumental event covered. I did not find that to be the case with “The Founding,” the events seemed to occur naturally, although when the characters did not experience the events first hand they occasionally had to engage in some slightly unnatural expositions.

I’m really not sure whether or not to be happy about discovering the Morland Dynasty series. On one hand, great new way to experience English history; on the other hand, huge series of big fat novels when I already have more I want to read than I could ever get to.

The Morland Dynasty series could be very hazardous to your TBR piles, but if you’re up to the challenge and a fan of English historical fiction then I would certainly recommend this series, I will definitely be reading more.

Buy this book from:
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound

This review was done with a book received from Danielle at Sourcebooks.
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13 comments to The Founding by Cynthia Harrod Eagles – Book Review

  • I remember hearing about this book years ago on a book blog and thought it sounded so good! I’ve always been hesitant too though; it’s so many pages! Plus, there are so many in the series! The pressure!

    But if you say it’s good, I believe you. As you know, if you liked it, I usually will to! I’ll have to get it and see.

  • I love a good historical fiction even if it is a genre that I don’t read a ton of. I’ll definitely be looking into this one as I’m a huge series addict :)

  • Amy

    I’ve been seeing this book reviewed quite a bit lately. It looks really good, and your review makes me want to try it… but… I have SUCH a huge tbr list already. I’m not sure I could justify adding this series! I will add to the wish list but try to hold off buying, I think 😉

  • I’ve been hesitant to get into English historical fiction and I’m not really sure why. This series does sound awfully tempting.

  • I love historical fiction, you temptress!! I’ve already added it to my wish list…

  • The only thing that takes away from the attractiveness of this book is its size. I know I’m lazy. I need to take lessons to become a faster reader.

  • I hope to start this series soon, but I’m impatiently waiting for my turn at the library. I love the idea of discovering history through generations, but I do hope to read the series regularly once I start so I don’t forget the details.

  • I wasn’t as fond of the second one in the series, but I’m glad you liked the first one! I thought it was pretty good.

  • nicole langan

    will try, love historical history

  • I agree — Not sure that I’m happy to have discovered these — there are a ton of books in the series.

  • I love, love, love historical fiction, and can’t believe that I haven’t ever heard of this series. I also love the fact that the book sizes are large… the larger the better. I have been reading “Power of a Woman: Memoirs of a turbulent life: Eleanor of Aquitaine” a great historical fiction by Robert Fripp. An awesome book about Eleanor of Aquitaine’s
    life of being married to two warring kings, France’s Louis VII and England’s Henry II. It is a must read for anyone interested in the medieval era.

  • I really enjoyed this book too. I also have mixed feelings about huge series of big chunky books with all the other books I want to read or haven’t discover yet.