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The King's General

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,919 ratings  ·  168 reviews
A Stirring Tale of Ill-Starred Love

They fell in love amid the turbulence of England's most colorful age - when the rages of Civil War swept the countryside, pitting Roundhead against Cavalier, dividing the people against themselves.

He was Sir Richard Grenville, the proud, ambitious King's General. She was Honor Harris, an innocent beauty, fated to suffer the accident that
Paperback, 342 pages
Published February 1972 by Avon (first published 1946)
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Set during the English Civil War of the 1640's, du Maurier retells a lesser known bit of Cornish history as an elderly Honor Harris reflects back on her life and love. Wooed by the charming, irascible but extremely flawed Richard Grenvile, eighteen year old Honor loses her heart and prepares to marry Richard until an accident permanently cripples her from the waist down. Richard and Honor separate, but meet years later during the Civil War as he is now the King's General in the West as they figh ...more
Rating Clarification: 4.5 Stars

I knew I was going to love this book even before I picked it up. For one thing, it's by Daphne duMaurier, which means it's going to be top notch fiction. Secondly, it's set during a time period I really enjoy. Thirdly, my GR friends Laura, Barb, Misfit and Pat all rated it 4 or 5 stars (between them, these ladies know their historical fiction, so for all of them to rate it high was confirmation that this was going to be a winner).

I wasn't disappointed. DuMaurier's
This is the third novel I've read written by Daphne du Maurier, she is an amazingly talented writer. I read a ridiculous number of books every year and only rarely do I find myself giving out five star reviews. I love historical fiction and I love Daphne Du Maurier's writing.

The King's General is a complex and compelling story. Du Maurier weaves together a bitter-sweet love story and a tale of brutal civil war then adds a dash of suspense. The characters she creates are based on actual people an
Emery Lee
It's been many years since I've read anything by Daphne DuMaurier. I had expected the gothic feel to the book but this was much more of a historical title than I had anticipated with very detailed accounts of the English Civil War as it affected those in Cornwall.

The main protagonists were unusual and the "hero" incredibly flawed. The relationship between DuMaurier's heroine, Honor, and the ruthless rogue,Richard Grenvile, can only be described as a truly "grand passion." I loved how Honor clear
I read this long ago, when I was a teenager, so do not remember many details of the plot, except that it involved a very unusual love story between a general in the army of King Charles I (English Civil war) and a woman who was a paraplegic. The general, Richard Grenville, was engaged to the woman many years ago, but then she had a terrible accident that paralyzed her from the waist down and refused to see him again (too depressed, didn't want his pity, etc.) When the civil war begins, he ends u ...more
I had had this book on my shelf for quite a long time, bought it in impulse after having read Rebecca three years ago and having fallen in love with Du Maurier's captivating writing style.
I didn't seem to find the right moment to plunge into it, even more after the disappointment I had with "The loving spirit", Du Maurier's first novel.

Haven't I been losing time by reading far more mediocre books these past years!
The King's General is a book which has it all. A haunting castle which reminded me
Written about the English civil war and published at the end of the Second World War, this book says a lot about the harrowing experience of living through a war and the powerlessness of women, children, and other bystanders, but without ever hitting you over the head with it. It's also really refreshing to read about a romantic heroine who genuinely is> feisty and spirited, without the writer ever having to tell you that she's feisty and spirited.
I also thought it was interesting how little
Really 3.5

Here's what I liked about this book. The book takes place in Cornwall during the British Civil War of the 1640s. It's sort of a romance. But the heroine is crippled and the hero is a villain. Their love is never consumated. It so happens I started reading I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling With Villains right after I finished this book. In the first essay Klosterman states "in any situation, the villain is the person who knows the most but cares the least" about what others think. Bingo.
Lovely book. If you go by the Goodreads description, you'll think this is your basic gothic romance. It is, at it's core, the story of the romance between Richard Grenvile and Honor Harris, but it is much more than that. It's a well-researched and respectful historical novel that deals with the effects of war on a society and on individuals, the complicated nature of marital and family relationships, jealousies, parental expectations, and gender expectations. It's a complicated work of historica ...more
La Petite Américaine
Jun 18, 2008 La Petite Américaine rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hmmmm ... get back to you on that one
Shelves: meh-whatever
Daphne du Maurier is one of my favorite writers, but sometimes she seriously misfires. (i.e., The Glass Blowers)

This book isn't exactly a misfire. It's more of just a crappy shot. This is sort of a mix of Jane Eyre and Gone With the Wind. But since the author is neither Charlotte Bronte nor Margaret Mitchell, this book just doesn't work.

Du Maurier's most amazing works are Juluis, Rebecca, and My Cousin Rachel. When you see books like The King's General, The Parasites, and The Flight of the Falco
Anna Baldwin
The book begins 1623 when Honour meets one of the Grenvilles. Gartred Grenville marries Honour's older brother, Kitt, but the rest of Honour's family does not like Gartred. Being only a child, Honour does not understand why. Until Kitt dies, along with his father, from smallpox and Gartred takes her share of Kitt's money and land and runs. Honour does not meet another Grenville until many years later when she meets Richard Grenville, Gartred's brother. He is a big military man who is honest and ...more
A very touching love story under the British civil war. Dame Du Maurier knows to impress us with every book she wrote. My favorite? very hard to decide since I still have some other books to read: My Cousin Rachel, The Scapegoat, The Flight of Falcon....
Tracey Chorley
This is the first du Maurier I read, so it will always hold a special place for me. If you've not read it I urge you to, it's atmospheric to the point that I obsessed about it when I wasn't reading it. Captivated me from page 1.
Dillwynia Peter
I know only the bare basics of the Civil War that lead to the downfall of Charles I, and was not aware that the conflict in Cornwall was so important to the outcome.

du Maurier again has strong women characters that one finds refreshing in a mid 20th Century novel, without compromising on the male ones. The war themes are well presented, along with the historical facts, without getting in the way of the narrative & development of the characters. The sense of Cornwall & du Maurier's love f
Lisa of Hopewell

I'm sure my Facebook friends must have grown weary of hearing me swoon over this book! Honor Harris and Richard Grenville, the King's General in the West, are caught up in the English Civil war. Richard, a rapscallion of the highest order, is the love of Honor's life. A man's man to the core, Richard bears his own version of true allegiance to his lady. The rough times of the war, the rough and ready personality of Richard, the unconditional love Honor holds for him, all create one of the most m
The King's General is set in Cornwall during the English Civil War, and tells the story of Honor Harris and her love for Sir Richard Grenvile, the “King’s General in the West.” It is a historical novel and a romance, albeit a very unusual type of romance. It is a fascinating and engrossing story, rich in historical detail, and du Maurier weaves an intricate plot that involves, among other things, the shifting loyalties and rivalries among the royalists in Cornwall, mysterious sounds in the night ...more
Du Maurier used real historical figures involved in the English Civil War during the 1600s where there was a local figure in Cornwall who was dashing and daring and surrounded by controversy and she wove a story of intrigue and mystery and drama around this colorful figure. The characters were mostly based on those who actually were a part of the drama of the day and thus had a spirit of true loyalty to the crown, but Grenville, the hero or villain as it were, was rebellious and willful and dete ...more
Holly Weiss
English Civil War of 1640's. The book is a bit of gothic, romance, and historical fiction. The author bases this book on historical characters. Honor Harris, crippled days before her marriage to Richard Grenville tells the story of her shrouded, confined life and dependence on others. Years later, the war throws the lovers together as unlikely defenders of the crown. Neither Honor nor Richard are particularly appealing as characters, but du Maurier imbues her story with mystery, secret rooms, mi ...more
I really liked this for the same reason that I really liked Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles series, where you have an antihero up against impossible odds who can be absolutely unlikeable at times. Unlike that series though, the main characters here were all real people, making du Maurier's blending of fact and fiction in this story nearly seamless. Du Maurier also makes the interesting choice to narrate the story from the point of view of Honor Harris, a woman who was once engaged to the tit ...more
Review: The King's General by Daphne Du Maurier (as seen on

When I read Rebecca, duMaurier’s much more famous novel, I recall asking my grandmother if duMaurier would be coming out with a sequel anytime soon. She was, of course, astonished. “Daphne duMaurier has been dead for decades!” From the way Rebecca reads, it could have been written in 2010.

This phenomenon holds true for The King’s General. If I didn’t know better, I’d expect the author to be a middle-aged woman tappi
Honor Harris is only eighteen when she first meets Richard Grenvile, proud, reckless - and utterly captivating. But following a riding accident, Honor must reconcile herself to a life alone. As the English Civil war is waged across the country, Richard rises through the ranks of the army, marries and makes enemies, and Honor remains true to him.

Decades later, an undaunted Sir Richard, now a general serving King Charles I, finds her. Finally they can share their passion in the ruins of her family
Leanna Henderson
Daphne du Maurier continues to amaze me book after book. I've only got a couple more to go until I'm finished with her entire repertoire, and then I guess I'll just start over. I love reading her books. This one is historical fiction, but it's not without some of the wonderfully creepy psychological suspense that she is so well-known for.
Mar 06, 2008 Linda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of English history
Shelves: favorites
King's General is one of the oddest, realistic and enjoyable love stories I've ever read. I can't say much about the plot without ruining the story. The novel takes place in Cornwall in 1653, and is based on a real place and events. Many of du Maurier's books are written in the stormy and wild Cornwall, the land she loved the most.
Linda Blake
OMG, I finally finished this interminable book. Maybe if I liked British history more, I would have liked this book more. There were too many characters and the love story was just implausible. I did enjoy the dark places and the dark hearts. Maybe if there more of that...
AGAIN! Please, editors, this book was NOT a romance. It was bloody and tragic and based off the skeleton of a young Cavalier that was found in a secret room in the house Daphne Du Maurier lived in.

Anyway, other than that, this book was interesting, historical, and vaguely horrifying. But I was super impressed when I read about Ms Du Maurier's inspiration for the book. The civi war, was, of course, real. The houses were real - like I said, she actually lived in Menabilly - and the characters wer
This is one of my top two faves of du Maurier's - it's a love story and I always love that, but so much more. Just fantastically written.
Paul Servini
Romantic adventure story. Not quite a chilling Du Maurier story but still entertaining.
Omg, wonderful book. I have to get my hands on some more Daphne Du Maurier!

A bittersweet novel with a bitter ending.

Looking back, I am surprised that this novel was my first introduction to the actual writing of Daphne du Maurier. I've been meaning to read "Rebecca" for a long time, I fell in love with the story after seeing the Kunze and Levay musical by the same name, based on the novel. I have yet to buy that book, but I did encounter this one at a clearance sale, years ago ( yes, I'm only reading it now, don't judge the speed at which I read ). I took it with me b
Thomas Acland
If you read to me the blurb without hint to location or author then I would be letting you keep the book claiming it holds no interest to me. However if you so much as hinted that a novel is a du Maurier and set in Cornwall then I would have snatched the book from your hands as you read it.

Having for once actually read around this novel a little, what really impresses me is how historically accurate the novel is. Even down to the minor details, for example, Menabilly really did have a fake butt
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If Daphne du Maurier had written only Rebecca, she would still be one of the great shapers of popular culture and the modern imagination. Few writers have created more magical and mysterious places than Jamaica Inn and Manderley, buildings invested with a rich character that gives them a memorable life of their own.

In many ways the life of Daphne du Maurier resembles that of a fairy tale. Born int
More about Daphne du Maurier...
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“In memory of Robert Harris, sometime Major-General of His Majesty's forces before Plymouth, who was buried hereunder the 29th day of June 1655. And of Honor Harris his sister, who was likewise here underneath buried, the 17th day of November, in the year of our Lord 1653.
Loyall and stout; they Crime this--this thy praise.
Thou'rt here with Honour laid--though without Bayes.”
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