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Theirs Was the Kingdom (Swann Saga, #2)
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Theirs Was the Kingdom (The Swann Saga #2)

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  516 ratings  ·  28 reviews
A brilliantly woven tapestry of history and adventure, this imposing novel continues the saga of the Victorian giant of commerce Adam Swann and his tough-minded wife, as it follows their fortunes in the penultimate decade of the nineteenth century, and in the careers of the five Swann children reflects both the triumphs and tragedies of Imperial England.
Paperback, 798 pages
Published July 14th 1999 by Da Capo Press (first published 1971)
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Sometimes if you're looking for an unexpected find, it pays to check out the 30 year old books your parents are giving to goodwill.

Theirs was the Kingdom is book II in what is commonly called the "God is an Englishmen" trilogy. Book I is the story of a guy who quits the army to seek his fortune and start a family at the dawn of the industrial revolution of Victorian England. Book II is the continuation of him and his large family, with each child now spawning a subthread.

It's a great, involved
Ian Billick
I'll admit it. Despite my better judgement, I'm hooked on the series and find the characters engaging. From a more dispassionate perspective, the book is capitalist propaganda. It's propaganda in an interesting way-- it makes points about the rise of business in England in the 19th century, as well as the role of business in political liberalism. But nevertheless, it's propaganda. It's also a weaker book for the fact that tragedy doesn't strike the family, except as a means towards greater accom ...more
Delderfield (1912-1972). Born in London in 1912, Delderfield moved with his family to South Devon in 1923, when his father, William James Delderfield, became editor of the Exmouth Chronicle. RF subsequently worked as a reporter on the same paper. This novel was published in 1971 and televised in 1980 and was set on the edge of Exmoor. Sadly, Delderfield died of cancer at the relatively young age of 60. This is the second volume in the trilogy and continues the story of the Swann family. I found ...more
I read this a hundred years ago, long long long before this edition was published.... but they offered me no other editions to choose from. I remember that I loved this book ..... England before and during WW I, the hearts and souls of the class systems, the thankless hard work of the serf-classes, the privileged lifestyle of the upper classes coupled with the attendant parental 'affection' and 'caring for' or condescending arrogance toward the working poor. Since first reading this I have grown ...more
I have really enjoyed these books and look forward to reading the third and final one in the series. Great stories and you really get the feel of the times. These are not only sagas about a family but really about Great Britain as a whole and the progress of thought concerning human rights, individual responsibility, morality, success and money.

This book follows Adam and Henrietta Swann, the central characters in the first book, who epitomize the age of industry. The story also includes interest
Norma F Benton
Enjoyable from start to finish

this is a top notch book that portrays Englanders and their lives through all social levels. society and it's qualities both good and bad are explored without prejudice or extreme preaching. the reader is allowed to make of each situation as they will.
Mary Lou
I read this series when I was a teenager. Ran across this copy at the library book sale last fall and decided I would re-read it and see if it still held some appeal.

The book is part of a family saga about the Swanns, a merchant class family in England in the last half of the 19th century. This one is set in the 1880s. It is interesting to me now for the depiction of the family contrasted with the depiction of the company that Swann founded, and the descriptions of the increasing industrializati
Surprisingly I enjoyed this second book in the series more than the first (and I liked that one quite a bit!). The charcters are finely drawn, even minor ones, and I felt as though I really knew and understood them. He brings the area to life in a most vivid way, setting me right down in late Victorian England and helping me see, smell and feel the sights and sounds. The appearances of the many varied spouses simply added to the tale and they became as genuine as the main cast.......his characte ...more
Donna Rasch barnett
Book 2 in the Swann family saga continues with Adam Swann building his empire and his older children coming of age. The story is slow and often repetitive but has enough to keep your interest. Overall it was not as engaging as God is an Englishman but still worth reading Hoping for better things from book 3. Sneak preview of book 3....this is what I wanted from book 2 already 20% into it and so far its a surprising roller coaster making be happy I didn't give up on the Swanns.
Harriett Bulger
Second book in the Swan Saga....this book branches out from the main characters and deals more with the lives of their children and how all are impacted by choices made by each of them.

This book was an easier read because all the set up was done in the first book...and there are nine Swan children who are all very different and therefore many different choices.

Looking forward to finishing the saga in the final book.
I loved the first book, so went on Amazon and ordered the next two.
Continuing story of the Swann family. Wonderful history of the industrialization of G.B. A family's journey. One gets to feel that one knows the family. Delderfield is brilliant in painting a picture of life and the British Empire, as it once was.

This story deals with the children coming of age. Excellent read.
Michael Kennard
A friend loaned me God is an English Man along with parts 2 and 3 of the Swann saga some twenty five or so years ago. They gathered dust, got moved around, got looked at but not read until around a year ago. I needed a quality read so I dusted them off and found a comfortable chair and started reading. What a wonderful reading experience, not quite up there with A Horseman Riding By but close.
Laurie Riley
Started it in Ireland and finished it up on the 8 hour plane ride home from London to Chicago. Now I've already started book 3 in the trilogy. Fun to be in England and reading this at the same time. London looks a tiny bit different from the late Victorian period but it still is thrilling to be there and reading a historical novel about the city at the same time.
Joan Podleski
It's embarrassing to admit how much of my knowledge of the beginning of the industrial revolution and the aftermath of the 'war of the peninsula' comes from reading and re-reading this series by Delderfield. My mother made me and Anglophile when she introduced me to Christie and Conan Doyle (in about 3rd grade), but DeMaurier and Delderfield clinched it.
Diana Quincy
I loved this second book in the series as much of the first. It's a family saga at its best, taking us through two generations of the Swann family, which also reflects the changing times in England. Highly recommend.
I was stunned, but I just couldn't get into this book! I read about half of it, thinking it had to get better because it's so popular. But it never did. Very formulaic: stereotypical characters and plots. Yuck.
Read the R. F. Delderfield series back in the mid-'70's or so...remember enjoying the reads, but I so need to do some serious re-reads to see if I still feel the same way!
Denise Schauerman
I enjoyed this book very much and actually thought it was better than the first one. I can't wait to see how the third one compares.
I read this book when I was in high school as leisurely reading. I rarely read fiction, but I must say I did enjoy reading this book.
Diane Viall
This is the sequel to God Is an Englishman which I enjoyed very much. This one was good but rather repetitious.
Enjoyed it, but it is a very long read.
It is a trip into nostalgia really, and very much a paternalist view
Cassandra Wyckoff
Verrrry long - more descriptive than necessary but a very good story.
This one was good, but I liked the first one better.
Another good story from the Delderfield series.
Volume two of an outstanding family saga.
Not as good as GIAE - see why in that review.
Sequal to God is an Englishman
I enjoyed this series very much.
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Ronald Frederick Delderfield (12 February 1912 – 24 June 1972) was a popular English novelist and dramatist, many of whose works have been adapted for television and are still widely read.

Several of Delderfield's historical novels and series involve young men who return from war and lead lives in England that allow the author to portray the sweep of English history and delve deeply into social his
More about R.F. Delderfield...

Other Books in the Series

The Swann Saga (3 books)
  • God Is an Englishman (Swann Saga, #1)
  • Give Us This Day (Swann Saga, #3)
God Is an Englishman (Swann Saga, #1) To Serve Them All My Days Give Us This Day (Swann Saga, #3) Green Gauntlet Long Summer Day

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