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The King's General

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  3,819 ratings  ·  369 reviews
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Honor Harris is only 18 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 Richard rises through the ranks of the army, marries and makes enemies, Honor remains true to him, and finally discovers the secret of Menabilly.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 6th 2004 by Virago (first published 1946)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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“When the water drains from the marshes, and little by little the yellow sands appear, rippling and hard and firm, it seems to my foolish fancy, as I lie here, that I too go seaward with the tide, and all my old hidden dreams that I thought buried for all time are bare and naked to the day, just as the shells and the stones are on the sands.”

It seems to me that Daphne du Maurier can do no wrong. As of today, I have read nine of her works, including seven novels and two collections of short stori
Feb 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
READ THIS BOOK! Another du Maurier gem! Set in Cornwall, mostly in the real life Manderly, which was called Menabilly, where du Maurier was residing at the time. The book starts off with privileged young Honor Harris and arrogant, assured and proud Richard Grenville destined to elope, when she is involved in a preventable accident that leaves her crippled for life! Years on with Richard a leading Royalist military leader and Honor, a chair bound spinster, their lives become entwined again with e ...more
Kimber Silver
"It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light."

The King’s General is a sweeping English historical fiction novel covering a period during the 1640s and 1650s when civil war breaks out over who should hold ultimate power in England; the King, or parliament?
This story follows several families as a conflict rages that will change our new friends' lives and the face of the county of Cornwall forever.

In fine du Maurier fashion, the saga is told in the first p
In England, I imagine there are months devoted in history classes to the reign of Charles I and the rise of Oliver Cromwell, Parliament and Puritan rule--The English Civil War. In the States, it is almost a passing mention in an attempt to cram all of World History into a single year of study. I love the way a historical novel such as this one can help to painlessly fill the gaps in a wanting education.

Then, there is Cornwall. My ancestry is almost exclusively English, I have found through my g
Jan 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Bionic Jean
Jan 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When thinking of the author Daphne du Maurier, most readers’ thoughts will quickly fly to her most famous novel, “Rebecca”, and thence to “Manderley”, the house which played such a great part in the novel that it was almost a character in itself. And many know that Manderley really exists, but is known by another name: “Menabilly”. It is situated just outside the tiny fishing village of Fowey, in Cornwall.

Menabilly held a fascination for Daphne du Maurier. She never actually owned it, but became
Ahmad Sharabiani
The King's General, Daphne du Maurier
The King's General is a novel, published in 1946, by English author and playwright Daphne du Maurier.
The novel is set at the time of the English Civil War. A middle-aged Honor Harris narrates the story of her youth, from the age of ten, when living with her brother Robin. The narrative begins when Kit, Honor's oldest brother, brings home his new bride, Gartred. After only three years, Kit dies of smallpox and Gartred moves away. At age eighteen, Honor meets
Apr 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This book started so compulsive and enticing and delicious. But somewhere it bogged down into a relatively plodding glimpse of the English Civil War. The sexy thrill of the early chapters was never recaptured, and the promise of drama and derring-do never really fulfilled. du Maurier is great at creating a world, but this time she didn't quite seem to have the dramatic plot twist to go with her build up. ...more
Natalie Richards
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-book
Fantastic historical novel set during the English civil war in the 15th century. No one writes a story quite like du Maurier!
Connie G
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Daphne du Maurier is one of those authors who can sweep you away from the concerns of our troubled times, and leave you enthralled in her writing. "The King's General" takes the reader to Cornwall during the English Civil War during the reign of Charles I.

Honor Harris was a spirited eighteen-year-old when she first met Richard Grenvile. Richard was a fine soldier who had the confidence of his men. A tragic accident prevented Honor and Richard from a lifetime together, but their love remained str
Mar 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 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 tale set in Cornwall during
T.D. Whittle
Once I pick up a Daphne du Maurier novel, I tend to find I can't stop reading until I either fall asleep or reach the end. Sometimes, I begin to get a headache from eye strain or simply must stop to take care of my own life in the here and now. She could really tell a story! Auntie Daphne would have been the best person in the world to sit around the hearth with, on a cold winter's night. And, of course, she wrote with such eloquence. Even when I don't love the particular characters or themes, f ...more
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being English, I admit to feeling a little ashamed of not knowing more about the English Civil War.....
I didn’t find Cromwell to be one of the most enthralling historical figures, and I suppose his various attempts to ban the celebration of Christmas wouldn’t have encouraged me to hold him in high esteem, plus, the Roundheads have certainly never seemed to me the most dashing of soldiers, so perhaps I didn’t listen as closely at school to lessons about this period of history as to others, such a
Classic reverie
I have read at least a handful of Daphne's books & plan on reading all at some point. She was has you wondering where she is going with the story & I was quite surprised as usuasl. A great historical read.

Many times I go into a book without knowing anything about the story but knowing that the author is a favorite of mine, such is The King's General by Daphne du Maurier. I rarely even read a foreword before reading a book but generally read it after. I am glad I continue this practice because ev
Pam Baddeley
Feb 06, 2018 rated it liked it
As a fan of Rebecca and someone who is very interested in the English Civil War and the huge social upheavals it caused, I wanted to love this book, but sadly could not in the end. It has some interesting elements, and the author does manage to make the disability of her viewpoint character, Honor Harris, work, but the first part at least could have been set in Victorian times. Only when we reach the section where (view spoiler) ...more
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it
'Time heals all wounds, say the complacent, but I think it is not so much time that does it as determination of the spirit. And the spirit can often turn to devil in the darkness.'

Du Maurier is an exceptional storyteller, I’ll give her that. This is a fascinating glimpse into one of the darker and lesser known facets of history: the people’s experience of the English Civil War.

The King’s General is charged throughout with a clear love of the Cornish landscape and its history; in my opinion, it
debbicat *made of stardust*
I read this with buddies in the Reading for Pleasure book club. Fantastic! I’ll put up a real review later. I really loved the main character, Honor Harris.
Jim Puskas
Du Maurier’s romantic novels are saved from feeling dated or contrived, by having been securely placed in historic settings. There is always a convincing sense of time and place, because she knows her turf intimately, especially when she takes us to Cornwall. Menabilly is made real to us because it was a place where she actually lived. And she always manages to spin a compelling story, even though her characters may at first glance seem formulaic (the brooding nobleman, the apprehensive new brid ...more
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
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
I loved everything about this book. I was in a slump of sorts worrying about all the current events of March 2020. It was wonderful to be transported back to Cornwall during the English Civil War. DMD's writing always surprises me. I don't struggle with it like I do with other older books. Even though this was published in 1946, it still felt fresh to me. I became engaged with the characters and storyline right away. I loved the characters of Honor Harris and Richard Grenvile. Interestingly, the ...more
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

It was really moving. A true story of Richard Grenville and Honor Harris.

There is all what should have a good historical fiction and a brilliant love story. The characters (especially Richard and Honor) are complex and great described. Hero and heroine are independent but whatever is going on in their life, wherever they are, they simply love each other. Whether they are together or not, it is not so important for their love. I don't want to spoil you, if you haven't read this book yet. I wo
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 love du Maurier’s writing let me start with that, she is one of my favorite authors however this book fell a little flat for me, it didn’t have the suspense that Rebecca or Jamaica Inn had. As always she captures a time and a place so expertly and the writing is beautiful but for me this just didn’t have the gothic feel and suspense I look for in a du Maurier book.
You can also never go wrong when Juliet Stevenson is narrating and the combination of these two is perfection but even Juliet could
Clare Snow
That ending slayed me. I'm over here in the corner, sobbing uncontrollably. ...more
C.C. Humphreys
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read one Daphne du Maurier years ago - The Scapegoat - I have now added three more:
Frenchman's Creek, The House on the Strand, and this one.
She is quite brilliant. her characters are strong, vivid and the writing so muscular - the depiction of a house ravaged by Civil War could have come from Damascus today.
Such a great, multi-layered protagonist too. And an unlikable yet likeable lover in Grenville.
Strangely, I have never read the most famous one: Rebecca. Should I?
Roman Clodia
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Set during the Civil War, this tells the story of the Cornish families caught up in the conflict and their tangled personal loyalties. The narrative is told by Honor Harris, who has been in love with Richard Grenvile, the eponymous `hero', since she was eighteen. As this is du Maurier, we have good characterisation and atmosphere together with excellent plotting that doesn't descend into the silly or unbelievable.

However this is a book which is far weaker than DM's classics such as Rebecca. Ther
Dillwynia Peter
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 for it pe
Emery Lee
Dec 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 att
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2015 Reading Chal...: The King's General by Daphne du Maurier 1 18 May 07, 2015 06:16AM  

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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 a fairy tale. Born into a fami

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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.”
“She reminded me of something, and suddenly I knew. I was a tiny child again at Radford, my uncle’s home, and he was walking me through the glass-houses in the gardens. There was one flower, an orchid, that grew alone; it was the colour of pale ivory, with one little vein of crimson running through the petals. The scent filled the house, honeyed, and sickly sweet. It was the loveliest flower I had ever seen. I stretched out my hand to stroke the soft velvet sheen, and swiftly my uncle pulled me by the shoulder. ‘Don’t touch it, child. The stem is poisonous.” 3 likes
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