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Cavendon Hall (Cavendon Hall #1)

3.36  ·  Rating Details ·  3,205 Ratings  ·  545 Reviews
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes an epic saga of intrigue and mystique set in Edwardian England. Cavendon Hall is home to two families, the aristocratic Inghams and the Swanns who serve them. Charles Ingham, the sixth Earl of Mowbray, lives there with his wife Felicity and their six children. Walter Swann, the premier male of the Swann family, is valet t ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2014)
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Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
I have not read Barbara Taylor Bradford for years....yet I had always enjoyed her work.

I picked up Cavendon Hall purely because I had been approved for #2 in the series, The Cavendon Women, by NetGalley. And I am so glad I did. otherwise I would have missed out on the beginning of a thoroughly enjoyable family saga.

I listened to Cavendon Hall on audio, and I don't think I missed a word - unusual for me!

I will be starting The Cavendon Women in the next day or so and am looking forward to repeatin
Ashley Cassetty
May 05, 2014 Ashley Cassetty rated it it was ok
Cavendon Hall sat on my Amazon Wishlist for months as I awaited it's release. Historical Fiction is by far my favorite genre of literary escape, and as a reader who immensely enjoyed BTB's Ravenscar Series, I was excited to read her foray into historical fiction.

Unfortunately, I was sorely disappointed. I almost changed my mind about purchasing this book as I read Amazon reviews, however, I made up my mind and clicked purchase and 10 seconds later, the book was on my Kindle.

Cavendon Hall wants t
Feb 20, 2014 Cynthia rated it it was ok
It has been a long time since I have read a Barbara Taylor Bradford book, so I was looking for a book rich with characters. Unfortunately this did not live up to my expectations. I found the relationship between the Inghams and the Swanns unusual - not servant/master or as equals, but something in between - and I did not need to be told every second page about it. Normally I like these type of stories but I did not feel fully invested in what happens to the characters.
The Book Maven
In a nutshell: Downton Abbey meets Danielle Steel. Except…I enjoy both Steel and Downton Abbey more than this novel, a tome overstuffed with one very, very tediously blessed aristocratic family and their abnormally loyal retainers in Edwardian England.

The Inghams of Cavendon Hall are more than usually blessed with an abundance of (attractive) heirs and the wealth to sustain them, as well charm and kindness and personality, to boot. They are supported by their loyal retainers, the Swann family,
Nov 11, 2014 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Barbara Taylor Bradford used to be one of my favourite authors back in the day but something has gone badly wrong with this book and its hard to believe that it was written by her. The dialogue was sickly sweet and the whole storyline was just unrealistic and unconvincing - and so repetitive. After being told for the 100th time that "the Swanns will protect you", "trust only the Swanns", "loyalty binds me" I was ready to put my head down the toilet. There were so many similarities to the cast of ...more
Jan 24, 2014 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Cavendon Hall starts in 1913, and tells a tale of an aristocratic family, the Inghams, and their ever loyal aides, the Swanns. For over 160 years, the Swanns have served the Inghams, through births, deaths, weddings, and deepest darkest secrets, and are loyal until their last breaths. When an unthinkable tragedy occurs, the Swanns take charge to protect the Ingham family.

To start with, I absolutely love the era that this book is set in. Unlike some books set in this time, I also loved the fact
Feb 05, 2014 Holly rated it did not like it
I received an ARC from a goodreads giveaway in an exchange for an honest review.

I loved the cover of this book! Simply gorgeous. However, that's about all I liked about this book. So far, this is the worst book I've read this year. There were too many characters, too much repetitiveness, and time moved too fast. The Swann's, the servant family, and their relationship with the Ingham's, the aristocratic family, was unrealistic. Their motto, "loyalty binds me" was awful and overplayed, they said i
Ellen Slingsby
Sketchy characters, thin plot, generally wishy washy......disappointed and frustrated as I usually love this authors work :( I'd persevere and read a follow on but if I read any more cliched statements professing the loyalty of the Swanns to the Inghams I might actually cry!!!! It had the makings of a great series.....but I feel really let down.
Dec 30, 2014 Viathenavy rated it did not like it
*Spoliers* If you want to read one of the worst books ever written.
No character development. None.
Bossy and secretive Charlotte apparently had an affair with the late Earl, and when the current Earl's wife leaves him with little fanfare - yeah right that's plausible in 1916 England - he and Charlotte suddenly fall madly in love. No preamble. She literally falls off a ladder into his arms and has sex with him. Because they've been in love with each other since childhood. Oops except for
May 26, 2016 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barbara Taylor Bradford has been a novelist since the late 70’s selling millions of books. Cavendon Hall I think is her 30th novel. I needed a light read and thought I would try something a little ‘trashy’. This family saga fit the bill. Set in Edwardian England spanning WW1, it is the first in a trilogy. Unfortunately, I found it a bit difficult to keep track of the characters. I also found my mind wandering, as there were too many descriptions and repetition. The novel does have a decent story ...more
Apr 13, 2014 Jen rated it it was ok
This book was like reading an episode (or several) of Downton but something that might have been done during the US Writer's Strike a few years back. The characters weren't well developed, big events happened in the books before you could get attached to any of the characters, the story jumped all over the place, the writing was subpar. I was literally jarred out of the book several times with confusion in why a character would have said something like that which seemed out of whatever character ...more
Mar 26, 2014 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
Cavendon Hall is a must read! Right from the beginning, I fell in love with the characters in this book. Well most of them. I did not care so much for Felicity and Diedre. Of course, it did not help that in Diedre's case, she hardly appeared in the book and when she did, she came off as not very likable. There was not much to say about Felicity. I loved, loved the Swanns. They are what really made this book so special for me. They are the type of friends that I would want watching my back. The e ...more
Apr 02, 2014 Mo marked it as abandoned-ship
The quality of writing is very poor, and the story is not interesting enough to hold my attention.

Made it to page 36 and bailed.
3.5 stars. Liked this one; it was a rather mild-mannered soap** with long stretches of stagnant plot, yet it still managed to hold my interest. Why? Beats me. *shrug* All I know is I enjoyed it & I'll be reading the sequel. I can't give a higher rating because the characters felt somewhat wooden -- combined with a Bertie Small-esque habit of recapping plot points that just happened -- but it kept me coming back for more. Overall, an amusing diversion for a tired brain.

**I say 'mild' because
Dec 19, 2016 Yukino rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: miei, 2016

Questo libro narra la storia della famiglia Ingham, lord dello Yorkshire, e dei suoi servitori gli Swan, uniti da un patto di amicizia e rispetto reciproco che dura da più di 150 anni e da amore ^^

L'arco temporale è molto vasto. Si parte dal 1913 fino ad arrivare al 1920, per tanto il libro viene diviso in 5 parti.

La prima parte è molto lenta. Vengono introdotti tutti i personaggi e sono una marea. Pensavo di fare confusione e invece mi sono ritorvata a divorare l
Mar 15, 2015 Amanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
As a huge fan of Downton Abbey and the time period, I thought I would give this book a try...this is something I need to stop doing, as more often than not, I find myself completely disappointed. Cavendon Hall was no different. For such a long novel, absolutely NOTHING really happened! Instead, we are told repeatedly how beautiful and wonderful everyone is and what wonderful lives they have ahead of them! Insert eye rolling here. We also have to witness numerous characters dissecting the same th ...more
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Setting: England 1913-1929
Steam Factor: Mild
3 1/2 Stars

For centuries now, Cavendon Hall has been the palatial home of the Inghams as well as their faithful servants the Swanns. All is well at Cavendon Hall as the Ingham's daughter Daphne is about to make her debut, and the family as well as the servants are elated as they prepare for the event. But someone is plotting to ruin the family, and it begins with tragedy and an act that nearly destroys Daphne. Then worse is yet to come as there is a de
Chris  Carroll
Barbara Taylor Bradford has always been a great storyteller and this book is no different. Her passion for Old England shines through in this story that tells the story of two families – the entitled and those that serve them. What is great about this story is you get the insider view to their relationships and how they live together in one house.

The story itself reminded me a lot of Downtown Abbey with similar relationships and the typical house “issues”, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I
Feb 07, 2015 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cavendon Hall is an engrossing family saga chronicling the lives of two British families--the noble Inghams and their faithful Swanns, the clan who has served them for generations. The intertwined histories of these British families are revealed against the backdrop of the years leading up to World War I, and ends just after the war, as class and society in Great Britain are changing.

The story's conclusion left me wanting to know more about the characters and how their lives are affected by soc
Nov 11, 2015 Wanda rated it really liked it
1913- Cavendon was one of the greatest stately homes in England. The Swanns of Little Skell Village had been working at Cavendon Hall for over 160 years, ever since the days of the first Earl in the 18th century. The Inghams, an aristocratic family, and the Swanns, the loyal servants, were closely intertwined and bound together by respect. The Swanns knew everything about Charles Ingham – the Sixth Earl of Mowbray, and his family.

Early on in the story line a horrifying tragedy occurs to a family
Apr 23, 2014 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy this genre of book, and i paticularly like the whole Upstairs,Downstairs/Downton Abbey kind of story, but this book just didn't ring true to me - I was so fed up of constantly being reminded that the Swanns were indisposable to the Inghams, literally every other page!!!! Okay we get it! Even when the main incident of the book happened, which for anyone wanting to read this book I won't spoil, I just don't think the reponse of the family and the Swanns was true to the era. I was also irri ...more
Aug 03, 2016 Deb rated it really liked it
I've always enjoyed Barbara Taylor Bradford's books, and this one is no exception. Cavendon Hall in Yorkshire, is the home of two families: the "upstairs" Ingrahams and the "downstairs" Swanns. The two families have been intertwined for over 150 years, each family keeping the others' secrets. In fact the two families have a common oath "Loyalty Binds" which is taken by all members of the two families. The plot in this first book of a series centers on the years just before and just after World W ...more
May 18, 2014 Melinda rated it it was ok
The jacket summary piqued my interest, the actual content left me disappointed.

My first BTB reading experience, undoubtedly my last. I was hesitant to begin with, I should have paid attention to my inner voice. I'm not into authors mass producing books, and this experience validated my skepticism.

The narrative had possibilities but it veered off track. The writing was oversimplified, and the characters strained. The relationship between the servants and the aristocrats - absolutely implausible
Maria Ulery
May 26, 2014 Maria Ulery rated it really liked it
This was my first book by Ms. Barbara Taylor Bradford and it was quite interesting as I have not read much about the English people or England but I have always been intrigued by the royal family and dukes and earls etc. This book told a tail of a well to do Earl and his family. It had a little bit of everything in it including hidden family secrets. I have to thank Reading Group Gold very much for the win on this book and presenting me with a new author, as I most likely wouldn't have not picke ...more
Jan 30, 2014 Birgit rated it really liked it
I loved the era this book was set on 1913 and onwards though the First World War although that was only a small part of the book. It was very much like Downton Abbey a period drama on TV which I love. I identified the characters in the book with the characters on tv.

It was a nice simple story with very beautiful women and very handsome men about the British Aristocracy and their servants/loyal friends. Although all the perfection can be a bit wearisome, I did enjoy the story and look forward to
Aug 11, 2015 Ariana rated it did not like it
This has to be the worst book I have ever read. I may not have read Twilight or Fifty Shades of Grey, but I'm sure this is comparable to them. The writing is bad, the characters are bad, and the plot is just annoying. I made sure to take notes while I was reading so I could point out all the problems with it but there were times when I was just too annoyed to even complain some more so these aren't all my grievances with this novel. Overall, it felt like a Downton Abbey OC fanfic written by a me ...more
Mar 20, 2017 Virginia rated it liked it
2.5. Gossipy, soap opera-ish light travel read where everything is told and nothing is felt. But Bradford does have a knack for creating families you want to know more about.
Meg - A Bookish Affair
"Cavendon Hall" marks the first book that I have ever read by Barbara Taylor Bradford, a very prolific writer. In this book, she tells a sort of upstairs/downstairs tale of a grand house in the early 1900s in England. The house has been in the Ingham family for years. The Swann family has served the Ingham family for years as well. This book has a lot of drama and reminded me somewhat of Downton Abbey because of the they upstairs/ downstairs aspect but with a little less drama.

I did like the ch
Read all my reviews on

I received a very enthusiastic mail from the publisher -of course- promoting Cavendon Hall and its sequels to me even though it is far from my usual read. They said it would be like Downton Abbey and I've really appreciated that show so I wanted to give it a try.

Set in the second decade of the Twentieth century it focuses on the Inghams, a noble family with a bunch of daughters, and the Swans, their more than loyal servants. This all s
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Charles Ingham, the sixth Earl of Mawbray, has a large family and a beautiful Yorkshire home, Cavendon Hall. The Ingham's can count on the Swann family who have not only worked for them for years, but also have sworn to "protect" them. Daphne, the best looking of the Ingham daughters, comes into some trouble just before she is to be presented to society. The Swanns swoop in and come up with a plan so the Inghams avoid scandal, but that doesn't take into account how Daphne's life has changed fore ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 19, 2014 03:04PM  
¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 1 Oct 22, 2014 03:44PM  
Translation to Spanish, why not? 1 4 Jul 07, 2014 06:00PM  
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  • Ramping Up (Mavrick Allstars, #1)
  • One Night with the Billionaire (Men of the Zodiac, #9)
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Barbara Taylor Bradford is the author of 30 bestselling novels, including The Cavendon Women, Cavendon Hall, and The Ravenscar Dynasty. She was born in Leeds, England, and from an early age, she was a voracious reader: at age 12, she had already read all of Dickens and the Brontë sisters. By the age of twenty, she was an editor and columnist on Fleet Street. She published her first novel, A Woman ...more
More about Barbara Taylor Bradford...

Other Books in the Series

Cavendon Hall (4 books)
  • The Cavendon Women (Cavendon Hall, #2)
  • The Cavendon Luck (Cavendon Hall #3)
  • Secrets of Cavendon (Cavendon Hall, #4)

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“created by the sunlight. Still, Cavendon did have” 0 likes
“Vedi quest’uomo seduto qui? Una volta era un bambino, un bambino che era stato mandato via, allontanato dal padre che amava, dalla famiglia che amava, dalla casa in cui era nato e che amava. Era stato mandato via dal Paese che amava, spedito senza alcun riguardo in un Paese che non conosceva, a costruirsi la vita fra estranei. Gettato via come spazzatura. Pensi che questo uomo, che una volta era un bambino, costringerebbe la donna che ama più di chiunque altro al mondo a dare via il suo? Non in un milione di anni, mai. Daphne, il bambino che porti nel ventre è un Ingham e io sono sia Ingham sia Stanton. E che sia dannato se a far crescere questo bambino non sarò io stesso.»” 0 likes
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