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The Founding (Morland Dynasty #1)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  1,143 Ratings  ·  148 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 Book Group (first published 1980)
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(showing 1-30)
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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 lon
Jun 18, 2012 Andrea rated it did not like it
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
Jun 30, 2010 Andrea Fife rated it it was ok
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
Feb 22, 2010 CLM rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 27, 2010 Gaby rated it really liked it
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
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
Feb 23, 2015 Toni rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2014-challenge
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
Deborah Pickstone
Written in the 1980s, I am kinder about the historical howlers - the same level of research was just not expected then. I am fond of Ms Harrod-Eagles' 'Bill Slider' series and figured she would not have written anything positively unreadable. On first showing, this series may be a comfy fill-in when I can't seem to find a book to cut my teeth on.

This is a routine family saga in its inception but an ambitious idea in that it has so far run to 35 volumes of that family saga, up to the 20th century
Nov 16, 2015 Anita rated it it was amazing
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
Ashley W
Feb 10, 2016 Ashley W rated it really liked it
Re-read 2/10/16 - I reread this book because I recently received (aka splurged on) books 2-7 in the series. I wasn't planning on reading the rest of the series, but I read a snippet of book 6, decided I liked it, and picked up this one again because I forgot a lot of the main plot points about the Morland family.

Surprisingly, I liked the book a LOT better than I did when I read it four years ago. I don't know if it's because I'm older or if I just know a lot more about the time period than I di
Amy Bruno
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
Kathleen Jones
Jan 28, 2014 Kathleen Jones rated it really liked it
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
Mar 12, 2010 Annie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ana T.
Jan 26, 2009 Ana T. rated it really liked it
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
May 08, 2010 Patty rated it really liked it
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
Jan 06, 2013 Deana rated it really liked it
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
Jun 22, 2013 Samantha Crisford-eade rated it really liked it
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
Mary Ronan Drew
May 30, 2016 Mary Ronan Drew rated it it was amazing
This is my third reading of this first book in a very lengthy series that follows the Morland family from the 15th century when they are increasingly wealthy sheep farmers in Yorkshire to the 20th century.
Margaret Sankey
Dec 30, 2014 Margaret Sankey rated it liked it
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.
Sharon Bruce
Jul 30, 2016 Sharon Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book! Will start #2 of 35 right away!
Apr 26, 2010 Marie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own

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
Nov 27, 2016 Legintis rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
3.5 Stars

I really liked the parts about the family, but some of the book was so bogged down in historical details that it felt like reading a textbook. I'll probably read more of the series though.
Sep 02, 2016 Rachel rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 02, 2017 Teresa rated it it was ok
Love Cynthia Harrod Eagles!
On to the next book in The Moreland Dynasty series (generational family saga)!
Jan 07, 2011 Kaye rated it really liked it
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
Aug 12, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
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
Laurel Bradshaw
Four stars is perhaps generous, but I like family sagas and I like historical fiction where history is actually the focus. This is book 1 of a now 34 book series intended to cover British history from the middle ages through WW2 through the eyes of a fictional family. The author says on her website ( "I wanted to include...not just the kings, battles and Parliaments, but how people lived, what they wore and ate, how they gave birth and died, how they built their house ...more
Jan 29, 2013 Marina rated it really liked it
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%
Mar 30, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, fiction
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
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 24, 2015 10:19AM  
  • The Seventh Son
  • Within the Fetterlock
  • The Wild Hunt (Ravenstow Trilogy #1)
  • Within the Hollow Crown: A Reluctant King, a Desperate Nation, and the Most Misunderstood Reign in History
  • The Town House (House, #1)
  • The People's Queen
  • I Am the Chosen King (Saxon #1)
  • The Countess and the King: A Novel of the Countess of Dorchester and King James II
  • Treason
  • To Be Queen: A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine
  • The Queen of Last Hopes: The Story of Margaret of Anjou
  • Queen Hereafter: A Novel of Margaret of Scotland
  • Wintercombe (Wintercombe, #1)
  • Elizabeth and the Prince of Spain (Elizabeth Trilogy, #3)
  • Theirs Was the Kingdom (Swann Saga, #2)
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

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 (The Morland Dynasty, #8)
  • The Flood-Tide (Morland Dynasty, #9)
  • The Tangled Thread (Morland Dynasty, #10)
  • The Emperor (The Morland Dynasty, #11)

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