1670: King Charles II's reign has brought peace and prosperity to the Morland family, but James II's ascent to the throne will shatter their restored fortunes.
In Yorkshire, Morland Place has flourished during the Restoration, and in London the beautiful and sprited Annunciata, is now Countess of Chelmsford, a wealthy and well-connected woman, intimate with the Royal Family.
But storm clouds gather over them all when the reign of James II brings rebellion and discord. Trouble is never far from Annunciata in these turbulent times. Jealousy, betrayal and violent death threaten her children, and for Annunciata herself comes the anguish of love lived in the long shadow of secrecy, a love that can only lead to tragedy.
About the Author
Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is the author of the hugely popular Morland Dynasty novels, which have captivated and enthralled readers for decades. She is also the author of the contemporary Bill Slider mystery series, as well as her new series, War at Home, which is an epic family drama set against the backdrop of World War I. Cynthia's passions are music, wine, horses, architecture and the English countryside.
Table of Contents
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
#6: Covers the reign of King James II; 1670-1689The Long Shadow is the sixth book in the Morland Dynasty series. I¿ve kind of been reading this series out of order; the first book in the series that I read was #5, The Black Pearl. Book #6 focuses on Annunciata and Ralph Morland¿Annuciata continues her rise at court in London, becoming a Countess, while Ralph keeps himself at Morland Place. Their lives are overshadowed by the end of the Restoration, and the dangerous reign of James II, where the battle between Catholics and Protestants becomes more complicated than ever.This is the third book I¿ve read that has Annunciate Morland in it, and I can safely say that this novel solidified my dislike of her. At best, she¿s selfish and spoiled, an indifferent and sometimes uncaring mother and wife. I liked Ralph Morland at the end of The Black Pearl, but here he seems a bit standoffish. Even Annuciata¿a children are somewhat unlikable, especially Hugo. But other than the characters, I thought this was an interesting addition to the series. The Catholic/ Protestant conflict goes a bit over my head at times, but Harrod-Eagles makes history accessible once again.
I would have to concur with previous reviews for this chapter of the Morland Dynasty - the 'long shadow' of the title perfectly describes my disappointment after struggling to complete the first dud in the series. If not for my overall regard for Cynthia Harrod Eagles' writing, my honest rating would be one star less.Continuing on from The Black Pearl, Annunciata Morland suddenly becomes a despicable anti-heroine, unfortunately more Beatrice Lacey from Wideacre than Scarlett O'Hara, selfish yet beloved by all. The level of inbreeding and even incest in The Long Shadow beats the Morland family record to date! The sympathetic characters are summarily dispatched in a sentence, while Annunciata lives on, presumably by draining the happiness of those closest to her. I usually enjoy reading about strong-willed heroines, even those who are less than ethical in their methods, but I resent being told to pity such a destructive creature as Annunciata, simply because women historically lacked the same freedom as men. All the blather about Annunciata being like a caged bird, or a tethered eagle, really started to irritate me after a while. Bess of Hardwick worked her way through several husbands, amassing a fortune and considerable property, but she also managed to maintain her dignity. Annunciata wrecks lives - including her own children - and walks over men, simply because the first man she loved turned out to be her father. Any admiration I had for the character, as a worthy successor to the role of Mistress Morland once held by Eleanor and Nanette, quickly turned to disgust.The historical narrative is equally ill-fitting, and Cynthia Harrod Eagles is usually so adept at merging fact with fiction. I learned a lot about the Popish Plot, Monmouth Rebellion and 'Glorious Revolution' of King William III during the 1670s and 80s, granted, but the names and dates of various kings and battles seemed to sit stiffly alongside the exploits of the Morland family. There was no 'personal' depth to the story, only a potted history and a wildly disturbing 'romantic' interlude. Nerving myself to continue with book seven might take a while!