Misc. Historical Fiction. · Sagas · Sequels

The Maiden by Cynthia Harrod Eagles (#8)

“Did you think I wanted to marry you for your inheritance? I am sorry about it…but we shall live somehow, don’t fear,”

The Maiden is the eighth book in the Morland Dynasty series. It covers a wide time period, approximately 1720-1760. I know that to get such a wide time span into the book, then yearly jumps are needed, or the progression of seasons. The main story is taken up with Jemmy ‘James Edward’ Morland and his unhappy, disastrous marriage to Lady Mary Holles. But the latter part of the book is taken up by the story of Jemmy’s daughter, Jemima, who is the heiress of Moreland Place and has to face an unhappy marriage which ends – too conveniently, it seems, with the death of her husband as a result of his ‘loose living’. Also, Annunciata Morland dies in this book. Well, she was over 90 years old so I suppose Eagles gave Annunciata a good innings.

And of course at the end Jemima has her happy endings with somebody else. Somewhat predictable, but the formula works even if its not particularly inventive. There was also a bit to do with a rebellion at the time which I didn’t really understand and at times, Eagles books read like a history factbook just so the time passes by easier. All the same, this book was OK. It didn’t blow me away, but it wasn’t bad either.

And maybe its just me being a sucker for historical characters, but it was sad when Annunciata died even if in previous books she was given more plot arcs than most characters. But Eagles’s characterization is consistent and it is fascinating to see how relationships grow and fail. Childbirth and disease is a godsend to a historical fiction writer.

MY RATING: 3 / 5.


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