I love reading. I would much rather sit and read a great book than watch a film. I can remember being an awkward teenager feeling embarrassed to admit that I enjoy reading, so that is one benefit of growing older… I can finally admit that I love reading.
I read every night before I go to sleep, I read on a Kindle which I know for a true book lover is all kinds of wrong but my Kindle has a lit screen which means I can read in bed in the dark without disturbing the twins Dad. I also switch between podcasts and Audible audiobooks during the day. Sometimes I listen to self help books and sometimes I listen to novels, at first I thought I wouldn’t enjoy listening to stories but its wonderful. It’s a little bit like watching a film in your head, it makes you able to walk a little bit further or drive the long way home just to find out what happens next.
For almost a year every night I have been making my way through The Morland Dynasty by Cynthia Harrod Eagles. The books begin somewhere in the 1400s and will eventually end with Book No 35 in the 1930s. It takes you through generations and generations of the Morland family, from the War of The Roses to the era of King Henry VIII to the French Revolution, the Battle of Trafalgar and the Battle of Waterloo ( I have probably missed out so many fascinating and important events). I have learn’t so much about history it has opened up this whole new world of interest to me. The fictional characters are intertwined with real life characters like Anne Boleyn and Admiral Nelson.
Cynthia Harrod Eagles is a fabulous author, each character is born and behaves and thinks like a child but as they grow you really feel like you are growing with them. They are the same sort of character as when they were children but you can see and appreciate all their life lessons, sometimes you can dislike them as teenagers only to be cheering them on in a duel later in the series. She describes their homes in such detail with rushes on the floor in the 1400s to Chinese rugs in the 1700s. There is mention of the extensive use of candles and horses as the only means of travel which blows my tiny mind! The appreciation I now have for the times we live in with aeroplanes and mobile phones. I mean Lucy Morland would never believe in a million years that one day we would be flying through the air in a huge tin can with wings, typing our written words into a computer and talking through a small plastic object to a person on the other side of the world who will hear your words immediately and not have to wait for a written letter for weeks at a time.
I am currently reading Book number 17 set in and around 1831. Benedict has left home to work as an engineer on this amazing new invention the steam locomotive, which feels like flying to the characters in the book after only being used to bouncing along on a horse for all of their lives whether in a carriage or in the saddle. Rosamund is pregnant and hoping she doesn’t die in child birth of the Child Bed Fever which was a common cause of death in those days and Heloise thinks she is getting too old now at the grand old age of about 55.
Everytime I see an ad or a mention of an interesting novel I think maybe this time I will leave the dynasty and read something else but every single time I finish a book I must find out what happens to the next generation of Morlands and I find myself downloading the next book straightaway. I am addicted.
Do you love historical fiction as much as I do? Do you think you could read all 35 books in a dynasty like this? And honestly what will I do with myself when I do finish!?
Thank you so much for reading.