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The Legacy of Hartlepool Hall

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  539 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
Ed Hartlepool has been living in self-imposed exile, but with a settlement regarding his inheritance looming, he must return to Hartlepool Hall. On his return, he discovers that his father has left him, along with the house, a 7 million tax bill, two massive overdrafts, an 80-year-old butler, and a country estate that is creaking at the seams.
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published January 5th 2012 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson (first published November 10th 2011)
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Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“His father, Simon Aylmer Francis Simmonds, the fourth Marquess of Hartlepool … had given Ed only two pieces of advice. The first was that if the opening sentence of a letter wasn’t interesting, then the rest of it didn’t deserve attention; ...a letter from Horace, the butler at Hartlepool Hall … began with the intriguing sentence: ‘A Lady Alice Birtley has come to stay with us, and I do not recollect that your Lordship left any instructions in respect of her visit’”

The Legacy of Hartlepool Hall
Sep 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved this! There are parts of the story that are a bit unbelievable, but I wasn’t too worried about that, and that’s part of its charm anyway, I guess. There was a twist at the end that made it rather a sweet story.

I can’t really pinpoint what made this such an enjoyable read for me. Isn’t that typical - it’s generally easy to say what we don’t like about something, but harder to say why we do like something! But I know I’ll be continuing to read more of Paul Torday’s works.
Mar 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Dit boek kostte 2,50 op het Boekenfestijn.
Nov 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
I've read a couple of Torday's novels in the past and surprised myself by how much I enjoyed them as his books are not my usual sort of read.

The Legacy of Hartlepool Hall introduces us to a eclectic bunch of characters, headed up by Ed Hartlepool and ably assisted by Annabel Gazebee and Lady Alice Birtley. Ed has just returned to his ancestral home after a five year spell of living in exile in France. During those five years Ed has left his correspondence unread and ignored telephone calls so re
Manda Graham
Nov 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
What a fabulous book! I haven't read anything by Paul Torday since Salmon Fishing in the Yeman and was reminded of it when I my dad read it recently. The following week I was exciting to find Torday's latest book on offer for review through Amazon Vine, and so selected it eagerly.

As I read The Legacy of Hartlepool Hall I remembered with fondness the slight excentricisty of Torday's characters but also of the plot. This story was a real page turner as the charaters wound me into the story and I
Sep 05, 2016 rated it liked it
This book centres around the problem of huge estates and ancestral homes in England. They suck up the money as Ed finds out when he inherits from his Marquis father. The book moves quickly along but has quite a heavy emphasis on the financial side of things which didn't always interest me. By the same author as 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen'. Worth reading.
Feb 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Rather typical of Torday's recent novels, the fairly posh or landed gentry going through hard times and having something fairly sinister happening to them, while also being a bit of a commentary on the financial crisis. Which, to be fair, is a hell of a niche. Interesting that he states that this was the last of his novels with this crop of characters though, and that his next work will be something completely different, it seems that he's recognised that he's written himself into an early rut.

Sharon Burgin
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sharon by: Waterstones
This is the first book by Paul Torday that I have read. I have 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' sitting in a boxed set in the cupboard. After enjoying 'The Legacy of Hartlepool Hall' so much, It will be getting read very soon.

Upon reading the back cover of the book you could be forgiven for thinking that this book would be full of characters that you could not empathise with or be interested in reading about. Wrong. Paul Torday’s easy writing style draws you in and you actually begin to feel for th
Marguerite Kaye
This read like an attempt to be PG Wodehouse, but for me it didn't work. It was a good premise, it sounded like it could be fun, but the humour was pretty bland, and more than anything the writing was very passive. It's a quick read, it's reasonably entertaining if you want something fairly predictable you don't have to think about, but the characters are quite cheesy and I found myself skipping bits towards the end.
Linda Wallis
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Well I quite enjoyed this to start with.
Looked forward to the different plot strands coming together.
Would Ed's life become more normal? Would the hall be saved?
Who was Lady Alice really?
But somewhere along the line it all became a bit unpleasant and meaningless.
The story just seems to have petered out with everything done in a rush near the end.
I just felt it was a waste of so many story threads.
May 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
I couldn't put this book down. It's quirky, well-written and a real page turner. I think it has something to say about privilege v. hard work, sexual morality over the years ie Is it OK to find romance where money is, and the nature of loss. Despite all this, it's funny! I would urge anyone to read it - it's not a long book, and has left me determined to read his other book "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen"
Apr 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
Weird. Odd story without anything to recommend it.
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Legacy of Hartlepool Hall is quite an interesting read. It is laden with vivid descriptions of setting and rich characterization. In the midst of the somber mood that Ed is drawn into, an element of dark humour is deliberately interwoven in the plot to perhaps provide distraction and suspense to the reader. The mysterious guest in the form of Lady Anne who suddenly appears in Hartlepool Hall after the owner's death is reminiscent of Du Maurier's storyline in 'My Cousin Rachel'. Torday has su ...more
Craig Bennett
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
An entertaining read with some very interesting characters, vividly portrayed. The plot follows an oft-told story of the family estate falling on hard times, but far from being a predictable outcome, the plot twists and turns surprisingly during the course of the novel. Ed Hartlepool I expected to loathe but ended up having much empathy for, and as for the presence of Lady Alice, well who is she and where has she come from? You will have to read the book to find that out :)

The property develope
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Questo romanzo è stata una sorpresa, anche se non avevo davvero delle aspettative. Decisamente il succo del libro non è la trama, di per sè non molto consistente, ma lo sviluppo (o la mancanza di sviluppo) dei personaggi.
Anche se le premesse possono sembrare poca cosa, questo romanzo mi ha tenuta incollata ad ogni pagina con il suo stile frizzante e disincantato. Paul Torday è davvero all'altezza della sua fama.
Paul Graham
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
A thoroughly enjoyable read. Although most of the players were characatures, they we believable and likeable. The tale itself is a simple one, a little far fetched at times, but moving along at a canter and with a satisfactory ending. Well done Paul T. Such a shame that we shan't be seeing your name on a cover ever again.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed immersing myself in the grand settings and discovering the characters’ many weaknesses on the way. It was sad in parts as we learned more about Ed’s family and why he was the way he was. In the end, the story was about transformation and letting go.
Mary Allen
Mar 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Odd book which I sort of enjoyed but there were no characters to like. All had flaws and I found it disturbing not to have even one person to latch on to...except maybe Lady Alice. Glad I read it though!
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent romp
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not my fave of his books but I can’t fault Paul Torday as an author. Such a shame he’s not about to write any more!!!
Jane Edwards
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Disappointing Easy read, a bit far fetched, doesn't compare with Salmon fishing in the Yemen.
Jan 26, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is set in an area I know well, south west Durham, where I lived for a number of years. Indeed, I was the tenant of an estate very much like that of Hartlepool Hall, although far more successful and solvent.

That having been said, I found the book immensely disappointing. It is, IMO, very badly and naively written, almost as if for children. The sentences are short, implying that either the writer or his readers have no attention span. . I cam across sentences like 'The bank's regional d
Katie Oliver
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ed Hartlepool has never worked, nor has his father, or his father's father. There was never any need; there was always money... and plenty of it.

But annoying letters begin arriving at Ed's house in the south of France. Letters from accountants, and lawyers, and the bank. Letters that, when Ed finally deigns to read them, paint a very bleak picture.

Ed is on the brink of losing Hartlepool Hall, the family home for generations. Action must be taken.

He returns to Middlesbrough in northern England t
Stephanie Jones
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
A fun, easy read with a curious cast of characters living in the midst of an era in its last throes. Ed Hartlepool is heir to Hartlepool Hall, an estate that has belonged to and sustained his and his tenants' families for centuries. Trouble is life has changed in those centuries, and the families who once worked the estate and kept the almost feudal system going are long gone. Hartlepool Hall is a white elephant that, like many of its kind, can no longer be sustained, leaving Ed with the sorry j ...more
I usually enjoy Paul Torday's book although I have read a couple that I couldn't finish. I'm glad to say I really liked this one.

The characters were sympathetic and also "neck-throttling frustrating" at the same time. It's hard to imagine lives of such wealth and privilege. Ed is the main character and has been living in France for 5 years. During that time he doesn't actively participate in his own life but rather ignores phone calls and doesn't open letters and there is an entourage of people
May 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Legacy if Hartlepool Hall tells the story of Ed the last surviving impoverished member of a landed gentry family trying to save his ancestral home Hartlepool Hall. The book started slowly for me and felt very depressing as the house was gradually taken out of Ed's control and dismantled. Ultimately I couldn't put it down as the story moved to it's end. It hasn't the happiest of endings, it's certainly not contrived, but it's an excellent comment on a way of life that is passed and how relics ...more
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
After reading Paul Torbay's "Salmon fishing in Jemen" I went on to read "The irresistible inheritance of Wilberforce". A dark book about a guy who started to get interested in wine and ends being an alcoholic. Hartlepool Hall and its family played a role in this book as well. I was quite looking forward to another dark deep novel but was bitterly disappointed. "The Legacy of Hartlepool Hall" is a book for a persons bed side table who is into romantic novels set in the rich aristocratic English l ...more
David Pain
Jun 23, 2013 rated it liked it
I've read all but Torday's latest and have thought of him as one of my absolute favourite writers. The last two of his I have read, however (this and More Than You Can Say) have tarnished his standing for me. His style is always flowing, easy and crisp. His characters are mainly upper middle-class stereotypes, which makes them very easy to absorb. His wit, when deployed, is mischievous and conspiratorial. When he twists things they are uncomfortable and fascinating. See? I really like him! So wh ...more
Feb 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the first of Paul Torday's books that I've read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters are engaging and turn out to be a little surprising in some cases. The story flowed along beautifully and I found that I really cared for the characters and what happened to it. One event has rather an air of "Weekend at Bernie's" about it, but the reasons behind it become clearer as the book progressed. The story is in no way predictable, and yet is thoroughly satisfying and I didn't see the endi ...more
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Well, the moral of the story would seem to be:

"... that comfortable surroundings ... and all the things that went with that, don't tend to produce happiness or fulfilment without some sense of love to go with them."

I actually ended up really enjoying this story; I found the first few chapters a bit difficult to get through, however, but once I got to know the characters, I found myself wanting to read more and more to find out what became of them in the end!

If you enjoyed Salmon Fishing in the
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Paul Torday burst on to the literary scene in 2007 with his first novel, SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN, an immediate international bestseller that has been translated into 28 languages and has been made into a film starring Ewan McGregor, Kristin Scott Thomas and Emily Blunt. His subsequent novels, THE IRRESISTIBLE INHERITANCE OF WILBERFORCE, THE GIRL ON THE LANDING, THE HOPELESS LIFE OF CHARLIE SUM ...more
“He realised that comfortable surroundings, indeed the gilded surroundings of his own life until then, and all the things that went with that, don't tend to produce happiness or fulfilment without some sense of love to go with them.” 0 likes
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