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The Founding (The Morland Dynasty #1)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  888 ratings  ·  119 reviews
1434: Wars of the Roses; Richard III

Seeking power and prestige; grim, ambitious Yorkshireman Edward Morland arranges a marriage between his meek son Robert and spirited Eleanor, young ward of the influential Beaufort family. Eleanor is not only appalled at being forced to marry a mere "sheep farmer," but is secretly in love with Richard, Duke of York.

Yet, in time, this ap
Mass Market Paperback, 527 pages
Published December 1st 1981 by Little, Brown Young Readers (first published 1980)
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Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
I swore I would not pick up this book to read,as there are just too many in the series(34 to date).
What was the point when I would never be able to read them all? Yet..every time I was at the library,I would wander down the "H" section just to see if it was there.So I decided why not? Just the first one..probably wont like it..cant get into it..problem solved. Well if you think like I did you'd be missing out on one great read. This book has to have been the most enjoyable read Ive had in a long
Feb 22, 2010 CLM rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Misfit
This is book one of an exhausting yet enjoyable series that begins during the Wars of the Roses. The heroine is a ward of the powerful Beaufort family with a secret passion for Richard, Duke of York (it is always a passion for Edward or Richard but never Edmund, for obvious reasons), yet is forced into an arranged marriage with Robert Morland.
From my blog...[return]The first in the Morland Dynasty Series, The Founding by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, is beautifully written with elaborate descriptions, and realistic characters making The Founding an intriguing novel to read, especially for those who are partial to historical fiction. The Founding takes place during the War of the Roses, which helps to explain the unusual match between Eleanor Courtney and Robert Morland. Unbeknownst to either Robert or Eleanor, living in different parts of E ...more
Christy B
I've had the Morland series on my wish list for a while, so I jumped at the chance to start reading and reviewing the re-issues that Sourcebooks are putting out. I love books that chronicle many generations of a family, so to have an entire series with 30+ books dedicated to this concept is a dream for a geek like me!

Book one in the series, The Founding, isn't the start of the Morland family, but the start of its dynasty. Eleanor Courteney, ward of the Beaufort family, is set to marry Robert Mor
I read this book and the second one because the author had an interesting idea for a series: follow a family's lineage through history and note how events effect their family and fortunes. Unfortunately, I was disappointed by this author's writing style, finding it to be shallow and predictable. Within the first few chapters, you know immediately who are the 'good guys' and the 'bad guys' and what's going to happen next. The characters don't have plausible explanations for their actions; the bad ...more
Andrea Fife
I was so disappointed! The characters and setting were amazing, and the historical aspects were interesting, but the story was terribly flat. I wanted to care what happened to the characters, but I just didn't. Where there should have been depth and emotion, there was "this happened, then this happened, then this happened." At times when the things "happening" should have been heart wrenching, I felt nothing! Star-crossed lovers, lost children, individuals robbed of choice, and I felt... nothing ...more
This book was beyond just being a rousing disappointment, it was truly painful to finish. The Founding failed on so many levels. First, the writing was pedestrian. Second, the story was not only formulaic, it was boring. Extremely and fundamentally boring. I could not care a lick about any of these characters-and there are so many characters that it's impossible to remember them. It's laughable how many characters there are in this book. The worst part about this book though is the main characte ...more
Cynthia Harrod-Eagles ‘Dynasty’ series was first published in 1980, and book number 35 is now available. Sourcebooks has gone back to the beginning and reprinted the first books and being a CHE fan, I jumped at the chance to re-read an old favourite

The story of The Founding opens during the Wars of the Roses. Eleanor Courtney is a scion of the noble house of Beaufort and companion to Belle, Lord Edmund’s wife. Eleanor has developed an infatuation for Richard, Duke of York and carries a missal he
The Founding, set in Yorkshire in the early 1400s, is the start of an engrossing historical saga. The Founding is the first in the Morland Dynasty series, and in it we meet Edward Morland, a wealthy sheep farmer, who pairs his only son with a well connected but orphaned Eleanor Courtney. Though Edward Morland is unpolished, he is ambitious and has a long view that holds him and his family in good stead. Though Eleanor never fully warms to her gruff and bullying father-in-law, he teaches her well ...more
Kathleen Jones
If you like Philippa Gregory, you'll love this. I read another writer's blog (Random Jottings - The End of a Dynasty?) recently lamenting that Cynthia Harrod Eagles' publishers had 'dropped' her because sales of her cult historical novels weren't as high as they would have liked. The blogger raved about the Morland Dynasty and the Kirov Saga (the latter set in Russia) and I was intrigued. Here was a writer with a long track record of rave-reviewed historical fiction and I'd never stumbled on her ...more
Eleanor Courteney is none too pleased when she hears that she is to be married to a local sheep farmer’s son. Given that Eleanor is an orphan with no dowry to speak of this match is actually better than a girl in her situation could’ve hoped for, but the young and feisty future matriarch of the Morland dynasty doesn’t see it that way. She is still secretly pining away for Edward, Duke of York with whom she fancies herself in love.

Robert Morland and Eleanor are as different as night and day. Mee
I will start this review by stating that I love history. My AA is European history and then I went on in Art History. I have read a lot of historical novels and history books in my life. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this first in the Morland Dynasty series and am looking forward to the second - which is sitting in my review pile - but it is a book steeped in history. And I think it helped to have a basic knowledge of the players at hand during the time.
Eleanor Courtnay is sent to marry young Rob
Christina Sesok
I have to admit, I was highly disappointed with this book, but my determination is what made me finish it.

One thing that would have been extremely helpful is dates at the beginning of chapters, as Harrod-Eagles tends to jump ahead A LOT, as this basically covers the entire life of a woman and her family, the start of the Morland dynasty. More often than not, I found myself wondering what year it was, how old the characters were and how much time had passed since they got married or left home. B
This epic, brilliantly intricate series is like a family tree come to life with branches that stretch from the War of the Roses all the way to World War I. For me, to read it was to become absorbed not only in the characters of the family but in the character of England herself.

This is the kind of book that made me want to pick up my pen and start writing again and I'm sure I'm not the only one who has felt a little awe-struck by this series. I know people who are die-hard fans of her work but I
Ashley W
I started this book a while ago, but I put it down for a bit, because I got bored with it. However, I'm very glad I picked it up again. While the book was a bit dry, I had to remember that it was written nearly twenty years ago before the Tudor fiction boom, so there are a lot of descriptions about how things worked in pre-Tudor England.

The Founding is the first book in the Morland Dynasty series, introduces the founding characters of Robert Morland and his wife, Eleanor Courteney. The two, at
Ana T.
Seeking power and prestige, grim, ambitious Yorkshireman Edward Morland arranges a marriage between his meek son Robert and spirited Eleanor, young ward of the influential Beaufort family. Eleanor is appalled at being forced to marry a mere ‘sheep farmer’; she is, besides, secretly in love with Richard, Duke of York. Yet in time this apparently ill-matched union becomes both passionate and tender, the foundation of the Morland ‘dynasty’, and sustains them through bloody civil war which so often ...more
the Morland Dynasty....Book 1

I started reading this series in 1980.....and after buying an Ipad decided to revisit them one by one and am now up to Book 6.

The first book starts in the 15th century and the last book will take us up to present day. The series follows the Morland family through generation after generation and covers all the historically significant moments in history.

The main fascination for me was that as i am a huge history fan , but on beginning the books was amazed to find that
Samantha Crisford-eade
I'm so excited to have discovered this series at my local library. Being a history buff & having 20 books ahead of me of this series is perhaps in a sad way bringing me too much joy!!! I'm always a sucker for a strong feminine heroine which Eleanor brings. The male characters that surround her are strong & sensible in their own way yet Eleanor remains the smart & revered matriarch - hey every woman wants to be doted on by the men around her don't they! The best par the author brings ...more
Margaret Sankey
Solid start to an epic historical novel series following one family from the north of England, beginning with this volume, centered around the lifespan of one woman, born noble, but married into a sheep and land fortune during the Wars of the Roses.
David Shelton
A true period piece, The Founding is historical fiction made almost respectable. Though laced with names and dates recognizable to anyone with flyover knowledge of the time in which it is set, it does not focus on those things. The author does not carefully place some trusty servant or minor soldier, minor enough so that his or her appearance does not disturb the narrative, next to a great individual or battle to become a pliant mirror in which the reader can see the subject. Nor does she conjur ...more
This was an impulse grab at the library, and I didn't have high expectations as historical romance is not generally my cup of tea. It always seems to be overly whitewashed. However in this case I genuinely enjoyed the family saga of the Morlands in the English medieval era and how they fared during the Wars of the Roses and the Hundred Years' War. Eleanor Morland, orphaned gentlewoman, is sent to York to marry the heir to the Morland estates, who has been raised to be a gentleman by his uncouth, ...more
Erin Triplett
This book tells the story of the beginning of a family--sheep farmers who have the good fortune to bring home a bride that is smart and able and willing to work hard to build up her family. We watch it grow from the couple to their great grandchildren and follow along with their triumphs and tragedies, both personal and historical (this begins during the war of the roses and ends just after Henry Tudor assumed the throne). It was well written, though the copy I read had enough editing issues to ...more
Audrey Dailey
I was interested to read this book because I like the premise--a historical saga that follows one family tree throughout history. Also, there are tons of books and so it will keep me busy for a long time!
I still really like the premise and I'm interested to read the next book. This one was pretty good. There were moments when I wasn't sure I really liked the main character and there were also moments when I was really confused about all the characters--they all have the same name! I know that fa
The Founding is the perfect title for the story of Robert and Eleanor Morland, who are married in 1434 and are the key characters in this first book of the 32-book series The Morland Dynasty. Although they were not pioneers starting out with nothing, until Eleanor came along the Morlands were simply two men raising sheep for their wool and living in a dark, dirty house with a few servants who went about their days with no direction. With Eleanor's ideas and support, Robert is able to build his b ...more
Kathleen Kelly
This first novel in the Morland series is called the Founding, the beginning of the Morland dynasty. In this book you will meet Edward Morland and his son Richard. Edward wants to make an advantageous marriage with the Eleanor, ward of the Beauford family. The Morlands are a ficticious family but there are a lot of true historical figures portrayed. The main character is Eleanor who is the matriarch of this growing family. This volume includes the background of the War of The Roses. The Morlands ...more
Despite being well connected and brought up as a gentlewoman, the orphaned 18 year old Eleanor Courtney had no dowry or expectations. When her guardian, Lord Edmund Beaufort, arranged a marriage for her, Eleanor was not too pleased especially since she harbored a secret passion for Richard Plantagenet, the Duke of York. Beaufort arranged a marriage with Robert Morland, meek and mild son of a sheep farmer. Even though Robert had been brought up as a gentleman, his father was a stubborn and coarse ...more
ahhhhh. I enjoyed it immensely, if purely for historical reasons.

The book focuses on the Morland family from 1434 to 1486, and it's not only a great document on 16thC living, but also a source of historical facts and people -- the Morlands mingle with the best of the best, so the Kings and princes and Queens are kind of secondary characters.

It is only two things I can point out as "meh" (meh being bad), that prevent me from being more efusive about the novel.

1) That this is historical facts 100%
Edward Morland is a rich Yorkshire sheep farmer who has money but no titles or connections. To remedy this he forges an alliance with the Beaufort family (yes, the same Beauforts who were descended from John of Gaunt and thus closely aligned with royalty). Morland marries his remaining son and heir, Robert, to Eleanor Courteney, a woman with connections but no dowry to speak of. Luckily for Eleanor her upbringing and no nonsense nature enable her to manage with this difficult situation.

York is a

The Founding is a novel that Cynthia Harrod-Eagles wrote in 1980, originally intended to be a twelve volume series written by two writers. Which would have already been a large task, but somehow it turned into one writer penning all thirty-four novels (the thirty-fourth will be published in November 2010 by Sphere). Sourcebooks is now reissuing some of the earlier novels, such as this first book that starts in 1434 in England. The fictional Morland Dynasty is now the longest-running historical f
Cynthia Haggard
THE FOUNDING is the first book in a series of thirty-four, by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, that deals with the Morland family, who come from York, England. This novel starts with a marriage, when the Morland heir, Robert, is betrothed to a dower-less young girl, Eleanor Courtenay. Why would a rich family want to ally themselves to this penniless young girl? Because her dearest friend is Eleanor Beauchamp (1408-1467), a daughter of the Earl of Warwick, and recently married to Edmund Beaufort, Duke of S ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 24, 2015 10:19AM  
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Cynthia Harrod-Eagles (aka Emma Woodhouse, Elizabeth Bennett)

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles was born on 13 August 1948 in Shepherd's Bush, London, England, where was educated at Burlington School, a girls' charity school founded in 1699, and at the University of Edinburgh and University College London, where she studied English, history and philosophy.

She had a variety of jobs in the commercial world, star
More about Cynthia Harrod-Eagles...

Other Books in the Series

The Morland Dynasty (1 - 10 of 35 books)
  • The Dark Rose (The Morland Dynasty, #2)
  • The Princeling (Morland Dynasty, #3)
  • The Oak Apple (Morland Dynasty, #4)
  • The Black Pearl (The Morland Dynasty, #5)
  • The Long Shadow (The Morland Dynasty, #6)
  • The Chevalier (The Morland Dynasty, #7)
  • The Maiden (Morland Dynasty, #8)
  • The Flood-Tide (Morland Dynasty, #9)
  • The Tangled Thread (Morland Dynasty, #10)
  • The Emperor (The Morland Dynasty, #11)
The Dark Rose (The Morland Dynasty, #2) The Princeling (Morland Dynasty, #3) The Oak Apple (Morland Dynasty, #4) The Black Pearl (The Morland Dynasty, #5) The Long Shadow (The Morland Dynasty, #6)

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