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Green Darkness

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  3,958 ratings  ·  339 reviews

This story of troubled love takes place simultaneously during two periods of time: today and 400 years ago. We meet Richard and Celia Marsdon, an attractive young couple, whose family traces its lineage back to medieval England. Richard's growing depression creates a crisis in Celia, and she falls desperately ill. Lying unconscious and near death, Celia's spirit journeys b

Paperback, 576 pages
Published June 28th 2007 by Hodder (first published 1972)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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mark monday
1960s Great Britain back into mid-16th century England. reincarnation. undying loving. characters reborn but carrying the same damn baggage. all of that.

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for the most part this is an enjoyable novel about two lovers reborn who knows how many times, destined for tragic ends until they are able to sort out all of their issues. I loved the opening chapters: cosmopolitan aristocrats lounging around the pool, touring historical sites with rolled eyes, making loaded comments to each other during a din
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 3 stars out of five, but only because I still love the memory

The Publisher Says: This unforgettable story of undying love combines mysticism, suspense, mystery, and romance into a web of good and evil that stretches from 16th-century England to the present day. Richard Marsdon marries a young American woman named Celia, brings her to live at his English estate, and all seems to be going well. But now Richard has become withdrawn, and Celia is constantly haunted by a vague dread. When she
I read this book when it was "new" and omg I LOVED it. It was complex and dark and romantic and my then 14 yr old self couldn't get enough.

Someone commented that it's "dated". It wasn't then but it's a reason I've never tried to re-read it. I want to keep the feeling of how wonderful it was to younger less world-weary me.
I must be the only man who has ever read this novel. If you've been having difficulty getting to sleep, Green Darkness can help. I'm surprised some pharmaceutical company hasn't named a hypnotic after it. It's a long, dreary romance, rendered in prose that's the stylistic equivalent of dishwater, about a modern couple plagued by unresolved issues from a past life exasperating in all the wrong ways. The story idea seemed interesting, and I slogged through it one summer when I was in junior high s ...more
I was really looking forward to reading this book. Maybe that's why I was so disappointed with it. I truly liked the idea of the book (reincarnation and karma- two things I strongly believe in), which is the only thing that prevented me from rating it with one star.

The characters were not real, I didn't felt as though I knew very much about how they were feeling and that some things were ridiculously elaborate (Julian is from Italy- we get it! I think that is mentioned at least 300 times. Yet h
Birgit  Bottner
That's my absolute favourite by Anya Seton. She combines present and past in this story of a crime in a medieval setting and how it's still affecting the present. She explains political and social issues in an easy to understand way. One of the books I keep re-reading
I found this book sitting all by itself on a table at a library book sale. It was the last day of the sale and everything had been quite picked over except for this gem. Needless to say I grabbed it right away.

Thank goodness for the Mt. TBR Challenge which prompted me to read those books which have been on my shelves the longest. This being one.

The novel is divided into three parts and begins during what feels like the 1970's. Celia and Richard Marsdon are a wealthy young couple recently married
The storyline and narrative structure of Green Darkness are very different from other books I have read. Green Darkness starts out in 1968 with a house party. The hosts, Sir Richard and Lady Celia Marsdon are newlyweds but their relationship is anything but blissful, as Richard has turned cold towards his new wife in recent months. Several strange events lead Celia to enter into a catatonic state. One of the guests, an Indian doctor, realizes that Celia and Richard had known each other in a past ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Try switching the genders in this story -- now it's a lonely (male) student developing a crush on a (female) teacher, who doesn't encourage the crush and tries to dissuade the student. Student carries a torch for the teacher for years, despite rarely seeing each other (except for a weird-almost-sexual-encounter during the middle of a home invasion??) and being married and widowed. Student sees teacher again, sexual advances ensue, teacher says "No" very clearly in several ways. Student then give ...more
I've had Green Darkness in my to-be-read pile for a long time now. I don't know exactly what was making me so reluctant to begin it. For one thing, the story takes place in two time periods: the late 1960's in an historic English manor home and in 1550's Tudor England during the reigns of King Edward VI and Mary I. I love stories about Tudor England, but this was my first one to also include the element of reincarnation. While I personally don't believe in reincarnation, it does make for a fasci ...more
I enjoyed the book, especially the middle part (the majority of the story) about the first Celia and Stephen the monk. They had a truly sad ending, my heart especially broke for the fate of Stephen. Maybe it is just me, but the last part of the book just didn't flow well for me, but I can't put my finger on why. All in all an enjoyable read, but it definitely isn't Katherine, which all lovers of historical fiction should read -- that one deserves 10 stars at least.
Terra Kelly
Apr 04, 2013 Terra Kelly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Terra by: found randomly at a laundrymat
The Green Darkness by Anya Seton is one of my favourite novels. I originally found my first copy of it in a laundry mat, I randomly picked it up for something to do while I was waiting and then I fell in love. I sadly stole that book from the laundry mat so I could finish reading it. In a twist of fate I have gotten and lost that book on three different occasions!

The book is set in two different time periods with a Tudor setting and a more modern setting (well kind of more modern) of 1968. It is
My mom always comments that you need to keep in mind not only the timeframe that a book is set within, but the timeframe it was written. This advice could not be more applicable than with this book - here is the late 60s in all its glory - reincarnation, rape as a romantic act (and as part of accepted marital behavior), and mysticism. I can see it being captivating to a young teenager (and reminded me of some of the impactful Victoria Holts I read from that time) but reading with 21st century ad ...more
Marla Hayes

I loved this book so much that my writing partner and I optioned the screenplay rights and have written a feature script that we are marketing to potential producers.

Check out our blog about the adaptation/marketing process at:

Help us bring this classic to the big screen!
This wasn't as good as the other Seton novels I've read. Despite an interesting idea, the characters weren't very real to me, and I didn't care very much what happened to any of them. Specifically, I thought the main character's husband was a huge jerk, even if he WAS wrestling with demons.
Elizabeth(The Book Whisperer)
I love this book! What a beautiful story. It is a time traveling story that begins in 1968 then goes to Tudar times. I love Tudar times. It is a tale of past lives and how they come back to haunt you. I highly reccomend it.
Zoë Marriott
3 and 1/2 stars for this one. Meticulously researched, beautifully written and cleverly constructed, but the experience of reading it wasn't totally enjoyable because it's permeated with an almost suffocating atmosphere of sadness and impending doom. You know right from the start that unspeakable things are going to happen to the characters, and the deepening tension in watching as those events inch inexorably closer forced me to actually stop and take breaks now and again because it was all get ...more
Terri Lynn
I first read this in 1973 when I was 14. I plucked it off the shelves of my parents' bookstore and quickly became absorbed and a little obsessed with it. I read it over and over.

I ran across a copy in a used bookstore this week and sat down on a couch to spend an afternoon re-reading it. Apparently 40 years later just before my 54th birthday (in March), this book doesn't have quite the same appeal to me as it did when I was in my very early teens. That's a pity.

The atmosphere and mood are stil
Beverly Diehl
I first read this book in my teens, and have periodically reread it since then. Although some of the story set in 1968 now feels dated, at the time it was published it was then contemporary. To me it makes for a much more interesting type of read.

Celia doesn't have much to her, 1968 version, but I was okay with that. The whole idea of reincarnation is that people will learn, over the next few lifetimes, the lessons they failed in the past, or perhaps atone for viciousness or evil.

This book is wh
a vivid portrayal of Tudor England with all its drama, intrigue, and grisliness presented at the fore of the tumultuous story of passion doomed from the start, and reincarnated for redemption. Ms Seton has quite expertly maneuvered the love-hate relationship between the seemingly staid monk, Stephen, and the in-so-many-ways-as-yet naive and seductively beautiful, young Celia amidst the raging political and religious conflict following the death of Henry VIII.

England finds itself in dangerous va
Ben Babcock
Much like The Burning Glass , I don’t think it was a good idea trying to read this during the school year. After four days I got less than 60 pages into the novel. Just no traction whatsoever.

The romance aspect of this novel was not enough in evidence for me to comment on it—we hadn’t even jumped back to the Tudor part yet. I mean, Celia and Richard’s relationship was shallow and fraught with tired, clichéd appeals to “destiny”. Despite the unfulfilling characterization, however, Green Darkness
Ana T.
After a steady diet of mysteries and romantic suspense novels I thought I needed something totally different.

I've had this book in my TBR pile for more than a year. I had picked it up because I loved Katherine and I wanted to read more books by Seton. Also this book has a theme that fascinates me - reincarnation, karma, good and evil... - even if I'm not sure if I believe it or not. Maybe it was my feelings toward it that kept me from picking it up for so long but now I'm really happy that I did
Katherine has long been one of my favorite historical novels, so I thought that it was past time to try one of her other books. I happened upon a copy of Green Darkness in my local used book store and figured that it would do as well as any to start out with. Sadly, I don't think it lives up to Katherine.

Partly, it's the narrative structure that didn't work for me. Green Darkness starts in the 1960's, with recently married Richard and Celia Marsdon. When Celia starts having visions and then laps
"Green Darkness" was my first foray into Anya Seton's novels and I completely fell in love with her writing. As with all her books, the period is meticulously researched so you feel completely immersed in the time period. Green Darkness follows wealthy Celia Marsden, who following her recent marriage to Richard Marsden, moves to England. Their relationship is somewhat troubled and strained, but they cannot place as to why. They do know that they were instantly drawn to each other. When Celia goe ...more
Jul 03, 2011 Megan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: British History buffs
Recommended to Megan by: Stacey Van Valkenburg
Most of my friends know that I love anything and everything to do with Tudor England. So it shouldn't be a big surprise to learn that I was absolutely ENTHRALLED by this fascinating book from acclaimed author and researcher Anya Seton.

"Green Darkness" tells the story of Celia, a young peasant girl living in rural England during the 16th Century. Through her eyes, the reader experiences wars, religious reformation, romance, and feudal life. Her forbidden relationship with a Benedictine Monk is dr
I read this book when it first came out, when I was a young (VERY young) married woman who knew no one in her new town and haunted the local library. I remember LOVING it. And since it's been almost 40 (!!!) years since I read it, the time is coming to read it again, and I wonder....will I still love it? (And what if I don't?)
Lianne Downey
While browsing a library book sale, my hand was drawn to a hardcover book on the 50-cent table, its black fabric torn and shredded, title so worn it was invisible to me. I couldn't even see the author's name. But something inside said, "It's only 50 cents; buy this book!" So I threw it in my little pile of purchases. This isn't so significant until you realize that it has been my life's work to study and write about reincarnation, but I didn't know this old book even existed!

I was stunned to dis
Mar 17, 2009 Aonbelay rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like historical fictions
Recommended to Aonbelay by: My mother
This book is very interesting. It takes the time to set up characters both past and present and captivates you. I feel that this is another book people either love or hate mainly because of the time and the historical thickness of it.

If you dig historical fictions, this is a good read. I read this book as a first addition and was ecstatic when it was re-released. Yes it's set in the 60's, yes it takes forever to get going, yes it's VERY wordy with historical dates and events, but the way it's t
The Just-About-Average Ms M
Nov 11, 2012 The Just-About-Average Ms M rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Only uncritical lovers of old-style historical fiction
Recommended to The Just-About-Average Ms M by: One of my students.
Back in the day, I suppose this book was an icon, the same way Katherine was. But I've grown up since then, and this book has not weathered well, in my opinion. I quit somewhere short of page 220, fed up with the constantly shifting POVs, the clunky writing, and the over-abundance of "forsoothly" writing. The plot was a real reach, and not very well done--quite a few other authors have done this reincarnation/karma/past lives trick vastly better.

I hate to admit defeat when reading a book, especi
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Anya Seton (January 23, 1904 (although the year is often misstated to be 1906 or 1916) - November 8, 1990) was the pen name of the American author of historical romances, Ann Seton.

Ann Seton was born in New York, New York, and died in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. She was the daughter of English-born naturalist and pioneer of the Boy Scouts of America, Ernest Thompson Seton and Grace Gallatin Seton.
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“Truth is naturally universal...and shines into many different windows, though many are clouded.” 34 likes
“Bir kalbin var." dedi bir iç çekişle. "Benimki soldu ve öldü.” 1 likes
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