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The King's General

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  2,834 Ratings  ·  259 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
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Paperback, 342 pages
Published February 1972 by Avon (first published 1946)
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Misfit
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
Elaine
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.
Hannah
Mar 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-reads
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
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Dolors
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Pam Baddeley
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
Barb
Sep 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: du-maurier
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
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Heidi
Jan 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: most-influential
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
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 f
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MissSusie
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
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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
...more
Trish
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
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Andrea Zuvich
The King's General is an enjoyable read set during the English Civil Wars - though I must admit that I found this story less exciting than Frenchman's Creek, another du Maurier set during the seventeenth century. I wasn't overly keen on Richard as the hero, for one thing, and disliked how he treated some of the other characters, especially Dick.
Morena
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.
Daphne du Maurier as always does not disappoint me! This is a historical fiction/gothic suspense book, written as only Daphne can write. This is my third du Maurier, after Rebecca and My cousin Rachel and I'll be definitely reading more from her. I'm not giving the book 5 stars only because somewhere in the between I found there were few repetitions, which at a certain point became boring. The main character, Honor, is indeed a strong one, one of those you can't forget. Actually, after
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Ann
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lisa
One of Daphne du Maurier's lesser known novels but one that is certainly deserving of more attention. Set during the English Civil War, it's got romance, intrigue, suspense, beautiful descriptions of the Cornish scenery and some great characters, including a very unique and memorable heroine. I did get a little bogged down at times, particularly with some of the Civil War related stuff, which is why I rated it 4 stars but on the whole, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others.
Laura
May 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Du Maurier fans
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.
Ahmad Sharabiani
The King's General, Daphne du Maurier
عنوان: عشق ژنرال؛ دافنه دو موریه؛ مترجم: افسر بهاروند؛ تهران، ؟، ؟، در 400 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: ارغوان، 1383؛
K.J. Chapman
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review is featured on my blog: Writerly Bookish Stuff.

Honor Harris looks back on her life from her teens, through the English Civil War, and after. Through her truthful recount of the man who stole her heart, Richard Grenville, and her life in a wheelchair, she tells a tale of love, mystery, war, and misery.

Du Maurier never fails to create an atmospheric experience for the reader. I was transported to Cornwall in the 1600's, and through the eyes of Honor, I had a raw, real recount of the En
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Laura J
I read the more famous du Maurier novels in my youth, loved them and would like to re-read them now. I saw this book in the National Civil War Museum shop in Newark-on-Trent, England, last year. I was finally learning something about this period of English history. "The King's General" is focused on the Civil War years (mid-1600s) in Cornwall, rather than the Midlands, and I found it very informative and interesting. The storyline was, to me, disappointing; I felt rather deflated at the end. Nev ...more
Anna Baldwin
Sep 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mmars
Apr 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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Mela
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow.

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
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Ingibjörg
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
Anne
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I waited far too long to read another du Maurier novel, but it certainly didn't disappoint. This is the kind of book that completely takes hold of you, so that you find yourself a little short of breath and reaching for the book at the table when you're supposed to be having a conversation. I ADORED it! It is so much more than a 'gothic tale', or an 'historical romance'; not because these monikers are in and of themselves shameful, but because they are too often used to dismiss or denigrate writ ...more
Victoria Vane
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
...more
La Petite Américaine
Apr 15, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  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
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John
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some very complex, interesting characters and a well written narrative of the lives of some loyalist at the time of the English revolution .I could not put it down once started. It will stay on my mind for a while because of the ending and one minor character. This was easy to give 5 stars, no doubt about it.
Amy
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written, informative fictional story based on true people and events during the English Civil War. The immortality and lack of any redemptive characters was disappointing to me. Honor was intriguing, but I could never like her very much. Overall, I felt sad and disappointed at the end. A lot of the situations are probably what it WAS truly like but I was hoping for something a bit more hope-filled in the lives of the characters.
Emily
Jun 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Daphne du Maurier is my favorite writer when it comes simply to beautiful, exquisite prose and exotic settings. Because I enjoy her work so much, and because there are only a few of her works left that I haven't read, this was saved for a beach read.

However, the 1600s is somewhat of a repellent to me, and I realized that Honor and Richard, the two self-absorbed main characters, were going to annoy more than the prose was going to enchant. Abandoned the book 50-some pages into it.
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2015 Reading Chal...: The King's General by Daphne du Maurier 1 12 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.”
4 likes
“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.” 2 likes
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