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This Other Eden (Eden #1)

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  595 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
"The secret of the entire world is whispered here at Eden...." — Since time out of memory, Eden Castle had ridden the storm-swept Devon cliffs like a ghostly figurehead on a ship of the damned. — He was the last Lord of Eden Castle, Thomas Eden, a man of brooding desire and sudden passion ... — She was his servant girl, Marianne Locke, the fiery young beauty who would rath ...more
Paperback, 561 pages
Published March 28th 1978 by Avon (first published 1977)
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It doesn't come in electronic format. But can be found at Amazon. I have collected for my mom several of these…more
It doesn't come in electronic format. But can be found at Amazon. I have collected for my mom several of these old cover historical romance novels, some even collectibles. Just a warning the price of shipping usually amounts to the cost of the book.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,708)
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This review will probably make no sense because I'm still trying to process this book's awesomeness. But for what it's worth, here it is....

This book is a 5 megaton starload of awesome. From Tom Hall's seductively Gothic cover art to the size of the book to the lovely nostalgic red-edged pages, I started lurveing this meaty retro Victorian sensation novel from the first page. And it didn't let up. Its awesome perfection was such that I feared it might puff into vapor and I would wake up and real
Oct 28, 2011 Misfit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Misfit by: Karla (Mossy Love Grotto)
4.5 stars

Oh, how to begin describing what this book is about? Set mainly on the north Devon coast during the 1790s, the main focus of the story is Lord Thomas Eden, the Fifth Earl and Thirteenth Baron of Eden Point and Marianne Locke, fisherman's daughter. Marianne manages to catch Lord Thomas on a bad day and he orders a public flogging, which she barely survives. Marianne's recovery is slow, and she's eventually sent to live with her sister Jane in London (Jane isn't exactly thrilled to have a
Jan 24, 2013 Kerrie rated it it was amazing

You know what this book needed?

A bunny. LOTS of bunnies.

Don't get me wrong. I loved this book, as those 5 stars attest. However, from beginning to end the gloom, doom, and consequences of every very human flaw that the characters possessed made this a very suffocating, disturbing, uncomfortable read which almost defies description.

Sometimes I just couldn't bear to look.

For instance, I usually prefer to personally like at least one character, even just a little bit. All of thes
This book was beyond awesome, but don't take my word for it; I hereby refer you Karla's excellent review, where she spazzed & fangirled enough for both of us. Not that EDEN doesn't deserve spazzing & fangirling -- but this was a buddy read, so it's a totally legit cop-out on my part. ;)

They really don't write books like this anymore -- and that's a damn shame. The historical backdrop was sweeping, yet deft touches of micro-history make the characters & their tribulations all the mor
It's hard to call this story a romance. To me, this is more a dark story of an older man who becomes obsessed over a young girl and the lengths he would go to to "have" her after a major faux pas(*cough*;) at the beginning in response to her rejection of him. Gradually the obsession becomes a romance and you start to warm up to the guy along with our heroine.

However, I still can't call him a hero, which is one things I love about the story. The lead male character is very real from his selfishn
This little book came out of nowhere and sucker-punched me. I have two emotional black eyes, broken ribs, a cracked skull, not to mention I may be ready for the madhouse to boot. It is also a book that I could just as easily come up with justifications for a one star rating as I could for the five star rating I eventually came up with. WTH did I just read?

To begin with, I would not qualify this as a romance, even a dark romance, the same way I would not call Tess of the D'Urbervilles a romance.
How dare you Harris? I was fully prepared for a cliffhanger, or every sort of maddening havoc to unleash at the final page but lo--she surprises again, with normalcy. Ultimately, this is a story that's positively human. This will likely be all-over-the-place review and drudgery in itself, so, if you've got anything else to do, don't feel compelled to read further. I forgive you. ;P

Most writers, I've found -- tend to keep a certain archetype and follow through with the character, rarely straying
Mar 19, 2013 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up This Other Eden on the recommendations of several GR friends, and didn't expect to like it as much as I did. If more historical romance was like this, I'd read more historical romance.

The novel starts with young Marianne Locke about to be publicly whipped for defying the local lord, Thomas Eden. After this punishment, a traumatized Marianne is shipped off to live with her jealous sister in London, while Lord Eden continues to dwell on Marianne and wonder if he should have been more l
Dark, delicious, disturbing, and madder than a box of frogs. Loved it!
Regan Walker
Emotionally Wrenching, Enthralling Tale from 18th Century England

It’s hard to see how this book could be rated anything other than 5 stars just for the effort it is. The writing is meticulous, the plot intricate, the characters well drawn and the story enthralling. It’s a well-told tale of cruelty, deception, dishonor and treachery—and, yes, it’s emotionally wrenching. I also thought the ending was melancholy. There are a few other negatives that I will point out that might turn away readers who
Rebecca Huston
This is one of those dark, not quite a bodice ripper, historicals that I read long ago as a teen. Actually, it's not awful, and pretty good, covering the Eden family as the head of the family, Lord Eden, makes a terrible choice that will haunt his family for generations. Perhaps not politically correct, but still fun all the same. Lots of drama, plenty of description and some very memorable characters. Not to mention that Celestial Bed.... Oy! Five stars overall and a not to be missed read.

For t
Jan 03, 2016 Joanne rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a book! Haunting, shocking, dark, edgy, with violent passions.......great, great storytelling by a new-to-me author, and I'm very much looking forward to reading more of the Eden series. Definitely not for those who like their romances sweet and chaste, as Thomas Eden is a dark, passionate lord of his times and Marianne a headstrong and stubborn servant (which gets her in deep trouble with his lordship in the first place!) Unlike anything I've ever read!
Feb 09, 2009 Joe_saltears rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
They really did romance the weird way back in 70s.
We have a classic setting in characters - the powerful lord and a beautiful fisherman's daughter. The hero has the heroine whipped almost to death, scarred for life, leads her father to madness, attempts rape when money and sweet talk won't work (but is stopped by a stray bullet of another suitor), stages a fake marriage and thus tricks her into living with him for a year or so, until she gives birth to a child, and then informs her of the arran
May 23, 2012 Julz rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who don't need a lot of fluff
It's hard to call this story a romance. To me, this is more a dark story of an older man who becomes obsessed over a young girl and the lengths he would go to to "have" her after a major faux pas(*cough*;) at the beginning in response to her rejection of him. Gradually the obsession becomes a romance and you start to warm up to the guy along with our heroine.

However, I still can't call him a hero, which is one things I love about the story. The lead male character is very real from his selfishn
Mar 07, 2013 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not sure what to say. This was rather different from what I have read until now. No black/white characters here, that's for sure. I am a bit unsatisfied as some people deserving revenge did not get what they deserved.

What I did not like about the book is that there was too little interaction between H and h. They actually get to know each other better rather late in the book. That was the reason why I felt there were some passages in the book where not much was happening.
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
Currently Reading (5/12/16):

It's time for me to read another bodice ripper!

I'm lacing my corset as we speak. :P
Jun 03, 2015 Joanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wowzers! My first experience of a bodice ripper and I absolutely loved it! Set in the late eighteenth century, Marilyn Harris weaves the historical saga of Lord Thomas Eden and servant girl Marianne Locke. The book spans the north Devon coast and Eden Castle to fashionable London society and even the French Revolution. It is filled with obsession, madness, deception, anguish and tortuous love. I loved all the melodrama too, from: the public whipping to a secret smuggling tunnel to a sister selli ...more
Rio (Lynne)
3.75 Stars. The cover might make you think this is a romance novel, but it's not. The characters are deep, complex and far from ethical. Marianne, a peasant's daughter, is a unique kind of heroine. As a child she disobeys The Lord Thomas Eden and is punished in a way that is unbearable and unthinkable (the most page turning part of the book.) After she recovers from his cruelty, she finds herself with her selfish whore of a self sister who also uses her to her own advantage. In the meantime Thom ...more
This is my first book written by Marilyn Harris and I do not regret at all, on the contrary.

This is the first book of a series of 7 books and describes the love story between Marianne Locke, a fisherman's daughter from Mortemouth and Lord Thomas Eden, fifth Earl and Thirteenth Baron of Eden Point.

The best reviews of this books can be found at Karla's review as well as Misfit's review respectively.
Many, many, many people have this as an ultimate read as far as historical romance goes.

The plusses:
A truly sweeping storyline. I mean it starts with sixteen year old Marianne Locke being thrown in a charnel house with animal and human corpses while she waits to be whipped by her much older employer, one Lord Thomas Eden for refusing his advances. Parents lose their minds. Brothers turn their backs on family. Smuggling, because Cornwall. Conniving, obsessive older men. Vindictive, jealous siste
Mar 31, 2010 Barb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. So here I am ....looking for more books by this author. I enjoy books that portray European life in the 16th thru 19th century. There were numerous sections of The Other Eden, no actually the entire book throughout makes you wonder what will happen next and how the situations will resolve. Couldn't wait to get into bed at night to read some more.
Jan 21, 2009 Dee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marilyn Harris was a graduate of the University of Oklahoma's Journalism School when I attended it in the early 80s. I read this series of books when I was thirteen, and I found them to be thrilling. I wonder what I would think of them now. :)
I don’t know what to think, how to rate this book. I am thoroughly confused. Considered separately, some parts deserve zero stars, and even less, if possible. However, the book as a whole is amazing. It is extraordinary, and that is not always a compliment. I felt, or more accurately, was hurled through many emotions throughout the book: anger, disbelief, murderous rage, reluctant pity and eventual satisfaction. At a point it all became too much for me. I had to emotionally disconnect myself to ...more
Mar 09, 2013 Taís rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I may be writing a lot of crap here but I'm going to say it anyway.
I don't know but I think this one was meant to symbolize that times were changing and resist would only cause pain.
The heroine represents the strength required from those who desired a better life for themselves in spite of everything that was already planned for them (wich reminds me of those immigrants that came to America after a better life). Hero represents the old world that succumbed - or at least had to make concessions -
Sep 10, 2013 Caro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great novel this was.
I started reading "This Other Eden" with great expectations. I had read Karla's review of the book and it just seemed too appealing. To be honest, though, the first thing that made me want to read the book was the absolutely gorgeous cover. It's soooo pretty I want to look at it all the time. I even bought the book used just to look at the pretty cover.

This Other Eden is a bodice-ripper, although I think maybe it would be very rash to push this magnificent novel into
Nov 26, 2011 Elle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite a few really annoying flaws (which I'll discuss later), this is one of the better bodice rippers I've read in a long time. The author clearly didn't mean to JUST write a BR, and she did much more than that. This Other Eden also puts the reader in the period, Georgian England, around the time of the French Revolution. The author wants us to see that the very ills that brought on the Reign of Terror were quite alive and well in George's Britain, too, though there were also a few difference ...more
Victoria Nguyen
Pubbic whipping? really
it took me a long time to digest the mere idea.
And it's the HERO who whipped the heroine --> brutal, hideous
At the beginning of the book I thought Lord Eden was the villain who treat the h cruelly and there would be a loving hero came to her rescue ?!! But perhaps I have read too many 'modern historical novels' (you know, the ones with historical context and 21st-century-like character, or the ones with alpha type perfect hero and beautiful, strong, flawless heroine)
There are seven books in this series and I loved them all!!
Oct 11, 2015 Aida rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These old classics are absolute gems. People certainly don't write like this anymore. I can't even really call this a romance novel. It feels more historical/gothic/psychological and saga-like. It was a weird experience.

I've had this book for the last 4 years and only started it yesterday and finished it today. In the past, every time I glanced in its direction, I'd think "not now, maybe later". Finally, after years of procrastination, I read it.

I don't think I have the correct words to descri
At 561 pages long, this was a bit more substantial than a typical romance novel. Maybe I'm used to the modern take on rakish heroes being depicted as nothing more than harmless playboys but the rake in this novel, Lord Eden, takes the meaning to a whole new level. On his first encounter with the 16 year old heroine (he's 40), he had her publicly whipped for disobeying him. The incident caused her father to go mad and traumatised her enough for her to leave her home and family and seek refuge fro ...more
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Harris was born on June 4, 1931, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the daughter of John P., an oil executive, and Dora (nee Veal) Harris. Harris was educated in her home state, attending Cottey College from 1945 to 1951, then transferring to the University of Oklahoma, from which she received a bachelor of arts degree in 1953 and a master of arts degree in 1955.

Harris's first collection of short stories
More about Marilyn Harris...

Other Books in the Series

Eden (7 books)
  • The Prince of Eden (Eden, #2)
  • The Eden Passion (Eden, #3)
  • The women of Eden (Eden #4)
  • Eden Rising (Eden, #5)
  • American Eden (Eden, #6)
  • Eden and Honor (Eden, #7)

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“Then she saw him in outline, standing in the doorway, his powerful figure filling the open space.” 1 likes
“Suddenly he dug his heels into the horse's side with such strength that the animal reared back, neighing his pain. It was a sound which might have come from his own throat as with eyes unfocused he stole a final look at her, so distant.” 1 likes
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