The Miracle at St. Bruno´s
"I was born in the September of 1523, nine months after the monks had discovered the child in the crib on that Christmas morning. My birth was, my father used to say, another miracle: He was not young at the time being forty years of age . . . My mother, whose great pleasure was tending her gardens, called me Damask, after the rose which Dr. Linacre, the King's physician, had brought into England that year."
Thus begins the story narrated by Damask Farland, daughter of a well-to-do lawyer whose considerable lands adjoin those of St. Bruno's Abbey. It is a story of a life inextricably enmashed with that of Bruno, the mysterious child found on the abbey altar that Christmas morning and raised by the monks to become a man at once handsome and saintly, but also brooding and ominous, tortured by the secret of his origin which looms ever more menacingly over the huge abbey he comes to dominate.
This is also the story of an engaging family, the Farlands. Of a fathr wise enough to understand "the happier our King is, the happier I as a true subject must be," a wife twenty years his junior, and a daughter whose intelligence is constantly to war with the strange hold Bruno has upon her destiny. What happens to the Farlands against the background of what is happening to King Henry and his court during this robust period provides a novel in which suspense and the highlights of history are wonderfully balanced.
As Damask and her two cousins, Kate and Rupert, pass from childhood into adolescence, the peace that has lain for years over the big gabled Farland house as over England is shattered. At home the restless Kate has found the ivy-covered door in the abbey wall, and inevitably, curiosity leads to a confrontation with the mysterious boy Bruno and the knowledge of the perilous secret of the hidden treasure of the abbey. And beyond the Farland gates England's King has cast his covetous eyes on Anne Boleyn, and soon Sir Thomas More's severed head adorns London Bridge and a power-hungry Cromwell covets the abbey's riches.
The disappearance of Bruno and the treasure of the abbey and the betrayal of Damask's father to a hostile crown set forces in motion that threaten tragedy as Damask finds herself impelled by a force she cannot recognize, let alone cope with, to discover the secret of the missing abbey treasure and the truth surounding the handsome, almost mesmeric man whom she has always loved.
Damask and Bruno's story, the story of a questionable birthright, of the abbey and it's coveted treasures, The Miracle at St. Bruno's is also the story of sixteenth-century England - - an era of vicious corruption and deep tenderness, when periods of violent brutality follow a time of deep contentment, presided over by one of England's most colorful rakes and rulers, Henry VIII.
This long and richly entertaining novel is written with power and clarity and a superb sense of the suspenseful and dramatic.
The Lion Triumphant
The Lion Triumphant follows The Miracle at St Bruno's with Catharine, the daughter of Damask, growing up in the new Elizabethan age -- one of the most eventful in English history because of the struggle for power between two mighty rivals had begun.
Catharine, smarting from the bitter blow which deprived her of her lover, meets the lusty sea Captain Jake Pennlyon, who makes it clear that he allows nothing to come between him and his desires. Catharine is the chief of these and the battle between two stong-willed and tempestuous people is fought out in the shadow of the growing rivalry between Spain and England. Catharine delights in outwitting the man who would subdue her and before he can have his way a mysterious abduction takes place. A captive on a Spanish galleon, Catharine experiences the terrors of the sea and makes the aquaintance of the mysterious and dignified Don Felipe. In the Hacienda she discovers the reason for her capture and what is demanded of her, which bears out the fact that Jake Pennlyon is a man whose life is inextricably interwoven with her own.
His symbol is the Lion and there is no escape from him and his determination to overcome her resistance. He is as sure of his power to subdue her as he is of England's to rule the seas. With her Spanish son Roberto and her English daughter Linnet, Catharine is torn between love and loyalty in a story of lusty adventure on land and sea, when those who lived in the turbulent sixteenth century were caught up in the trmendous events of their times. The fight for survival is Catharine's and Jake's, Roberto's and Linnet's -- as well as England's. From Plymouth, the ships set forth, for the issue will be decided at sea. Here is the most significant engagement of all times when the little ships of England drove off the mighty Spanish galleons of Spain and the Invincible Armada was defeated, leaving the Lion Triumphant.
The Witch from the Sea
Linnet Pennlyon & Tamsyn Casvellyn
Set in Elizabethan England and tells the story of a young woman, Linnet Pennlyon, who is on the brink of becoming betrothed to one man, only to find herself forced to marry another, the rakish Colum Casvellyn, when circumstances intervene to change her fate.
Her passionate relationship with her husband changes over time, when Linnet discovers some secrets about her husband that she would have been better off not knowing. Moreover, when a stunningly beautiful stranger is cast upon the shores of the their castle, Linnet's life is never again the same. It is then left to her daughter, Tamsyn, to set to right what once went wrong.
Saraband for Two Sisters
Bersaba & Angelet Landor
Angelet and Bersaba Landor were born identical twins, but as they grew to adulthood, they found their likeness was purely physical. For while Angelet was outgoing with a sunny disposition, the passions that burned fiercely within Bersaba were of a different nature. Before she was seventeen Bersaba was convinced she was hopelessly in love with her handsome cousin, Bastian Casvellyn, and had undertaken to test that love.
It was the unexpected intrusion of the lovely Senara at the Casvellyn's ancestral Castle Paling, where once Senara's mother had arrived flung on the forbidding shores by a stormy sea, that brought an end to the Landor twin's pleasant, if bucolic, life. In short order Senara had usurped Bastian's devotion, discarded him and swept off to London to wed the dashing Sir Gervaise Pondersby, leaving chaos in her wake.
And when, shortly thereafter, Bersaba fell ill of the dreaded smallpox and Angelet was sent to the safety of London, life changed forever for the Landors. For among the teeming trading stalls of London's St. Paul's, Angelet encountered Richard Tolworthy, and almost before she could believe it found herself married to him -- a King's general, years her elder, whose first marriage had ended in tragedy -- and transported to preside over his considerable estates. Far Flamstead proved to be a handsome house, yet within it's walls, and outside them in the intriguing miniature "folly" castle, lurked a secret that was to threaten Angelet's happiness and, in course, her life itself.
At first there were days of happiness when it seemed Richard would have the heir he so desperately sought, and a terrible night after which he would not. Then a recovered Bersaba came to Far Flamstead to comfort her bereaved sister -- and met Angelet's husband. And so a swirl of dramatic events is set in motion, which sweep this romantic novel to its climax as battles flare, ghosts rise and the fate of a nation is settled.
Lament for a Lost Lover
Against the background of an England torn by civil war, religious persecution, and political treachery in the turbulent era of Cromwell and the Stuart Restoration, Philippa Carr has set the passionate story of Arabella Tolworthy, whose loves and destiny are inextricably linked to the plight of her nation.
The dethroned Charles I had met the executioner's ax with regal calm, and as Oliver Cromwell tightened his Puritan grip on English church and state, thousands of royalists fled their confiscated lands. Among them was young Arabella, her family seeking safe harbor in France where they hoped to serve the exiled royal heir, Charles II. Separated from her parents, confronted by the unaccustomed hardships of political banishment, she finds solace in the company or the ravishing and charismatic actress, Harriet Main. Little does Arabella suspect the threat Harriet will pose to her future happiness.
Nor does she envision the tragedy that lies ahead when dashing Edwin Eversleigh, Cavalier and heir to a titular fortune, makes her his bride after a whirlwind courtship. For in the deceptive peace following Parliament's Restoration of the Crown, a widowed Arabella returns to England bearing a new scion of the Eversleigh estate.
Suddenly, her quiet devotion to the memory of her beloved is shattered by the arrival of Edwin's cousin Carleton, whose bitterness at being deprived of his inheritance seemingly only Arabella can allay. The reappearance at Eversleigh Court of the conniving Harriet further jeopardizes Arabella's spiritual bond with the past. Only amidst the cataclysmic suffering wrought by St. Giles Plague and the Great London Fire does Arabella find courage enough for a personal renewal, which may help her make her sepatate peace with England.
The Love Child
In an England riddled by political and religious strife, Pricilla Eversleigh fights off the man who ravaged her, who is attempting to possess her daughter, and who separates her through a dark sevret they share from the man she truly loves.
During the turbulent period of the "Popish plots," fouteen-year-old Pricilla Eversleigh lives untouched in the haven of Eversleigh, the family estate, with her illegitiamte sister, Christabel. But this bastion of innocence is about to fall. Danger and romance push their way to her doorstep. Harriet Main and her son Leigh, two trusted family friends, return from the war zone. Yet another refugee stumbles into their midst -- this time it is Jocelyn Frinton, a young man haunted by a pursuer. Pricilla and her friends hide Jocelyn and a furtive romance blossoms, which is cut short when Jocelyn is captured and beheaded. Pricilla discovers she will bear his child. Harriet whisks Pricilla and Christabel to Venice to save the family name from the disgrace of an illegitimate child and plots to pass the baby off as her own. A daughter, Carlotta, is born and the family returns to Eversleigh, but not before Pricilla is abducted by the cruel and lecherous Beaumont Granville. Granville's villiany plagues Pricilla and her loved ones through many tormented years until she at last gains the final victory.
The Song of the Siren
Carlotta Main & Damaris Main
As England erupts in violent Jacobite upheaval, two half-sisters -- one of surpassing beauty and untamed spirit; the other plain, shy and dutiful -- vie for the love of a man and the life of a child.
When the lovely and willful Carlotta, on her way to the home of her suitor Benjie Stevens, is abducted by the dashing Jacobite leader Lord Hessenfield and forced to share his bed, she doesn't dream that the shameful coupling will spiral into mutual passion. But Hessenfield must flee to France, and Carlotta finds herself pregnant with his child. Desperate to save face and future, she marries Benjie and resolves to live happily ever after -- until she returns home to find her half-sister Damaris in love with Matt Pilkington, son of the neighboring estate owner. Never one to deny her desires, Carlotta plunges into a torrid affair eith Matt, a betrayal that sends the trusting Damaris into a nearly fatal illness, a easting disease from which only Carlotta's child, the enchanting Clarissa, can save her.
With Damaris restored to health and a quiet if empty life, and Carlotta reunited in France with her true love, Hessenfield, it seems that each sister has realized her destiny -- until a desperate letter from Paris reveals the terrible price Carlotta has paid for her happiness and begs Damaris to save the child Clarissa from a similar fate.
Will You Love Me in September (Drop of the Dice)
Beautiful, spirited love child of a nobleman's dalliance with a tempestuous lady, Clarissa is only twelve when she first encounters the dashing officer, Lance Clavering. But she is not too young to fall in love, nor to become the pawn in a deadly game of power and passion which are both her heritage and her destiny. The time is 1715, the place an England rife with civil discontent threatening to explode into revolution. Clarissa is caught up in events which will alter England's history -- and lure her into a strange, shadow box future.
Is the dashing Lance what he pretends -- a heroic, charming lover -- or is he the agent of an evil cabal sworn to strip Clarissa of her fortune, her dignity . . . perhaps even her life?
Is the mysterious young rebel, Dickon Frenshaw -- first her jailer, then her salvation -- watching over her out of devotion . . . or spying on her for those who would see her destroyed?
As her dreams of romance and peace first seem to be realized in marriage, then ever more gravely thratened by that same marriage, with only herself to trust, Clarissa must penetrate the long-buried mysteries of her own legacy -- and risk a heartbreak more painful than betrayal.
When Zipporah Ransome set out for Eversleigh Court, her family's ancestral home, she was a sensible, predictable person. Married to a man she had known since childhood, Zipporah was satisfied with her quiet life, happy to put behind her the legacy of scandal that had long stained her heritage. Only in answer to an old man's desperate plea did she journey to a house rife with memories, with malice -- even, perhaps, with danger.
But when she departed Eversleigh, Zipporah was a different woman. Caught in a widening web of menace and manipulation, she was forced to rise to the challenge of those working against her. And something more had changed for Zipporah: she had fallen in love with a handsome stranger she might never see again, but whose presence would dominate her future and her fortunes more powerfully than she could ever have imagined.
Knave of Hearts (Zipporah's Daughter)
Lottie came to her father's home in France a girl -- but with a woman's beauty and desires. Lonely for her beloved English countryside, estranged from the boy she had always adored, she was soon to be swept away by the glitter of Louis XV's Paris. As the months passed, turning into years, Lottie would be hurled into a tempest of events, forever altering her life, changing the course of history. New love would come, in the person of a man whose private passions would equal his great craving for liberty. And an old love, too -- his mission in France enigmatic, his motives veiled. She would know joy and treachery, grief and triumph, and the advent of a time when heads would roll, chaos prevail, and the fates of those she loved to be thrown in most dire jeopardy.
Voices in a Haunted Room
Claudine de Tourville
Raised in the grand chateau of Tourville, lovely young Claudine, with her widowed mother, had fled the solitude of the French countryside as revolution torched it, sparking flames that would forever alter the landscape, their destiny, and the face of history itself.
Warmly ensconced and safe from harm in her mother's ancestral English home, Claudine discovers a new kind of danger; turning ripe and sensuous overnight, she is torn between the love of her new stepbrothers -- David, steady, scholarly, the perfect husband . . . if not the lover of her dreams; and Jonathon, so passionate, so willing to dare, far from the perfect husband, but as her first and foremost love, unsurpassed. Theirs is an amorous triangle that will burn bright through the years when England and all Europe struggle in a tyrant's grasp, till a moment on a rocky beach when one of the two men Claudine adores falls victim to a power beyond destiny.
The Return of the Gypsy
From the glitter of the Regency to the stark drama of the Napoleanic wars; from pure young love to old and fatal secrets, The Return of the Gypsy is set in the turbulent splendor of England during the nineteenth century.
Travelling among the gypsies, living the life of the road, the darkly mysterious Romany Jake is intriguing and irresistable to high-born ladies and peasants alike. But Jessica Frenshaw would grow to womanhood with only a memory of the passionate feelings he had aroused in her.
Then came the murder and the scandal, the trial and, ultimately, Jake's exile. But Jake returned . . . sfter Napolean fell and England was safe again. Jessica would finally discover who Romany Jake really was -- not a gypsy, not a criminal, but a man of principle who had struggled through the years until he could return to claim what was rightfully his.
Set against the wild and rocky shores of nineteenth century Cornwall and the primitive outback of Australia, Midsummer's Eve is the story of Annora Cadorson, a young and innocent girl whose love and happiness are threatened by tragedy and disillusion.
The daughter of Sir Jake Cadorson, lord of one of England's oldest manors, Annora is raised in the warmth of a close-knit family who ardently encourage her to marry the dashing Rolf Hanson, man of her childhood dreams.
But then comes Midsummer's Eve. The haunting events of that terrible night shatter Annora's illusions about Rolf and cause her to distrust men. She escapes to London, where fashionable society is celebrating the accession of Queen Victoria. There she meets Joe Cresswell, whose father is vying with Annora's uncle for an important Parliamentary seat. But her romance with Joe is dashed when scandal erupts between the two politically ambitious men who have brought them together.
With her family, Annora sails to Australia, where she is futher shaken by their cruel and unexpected deaths. Henceforth she must confront alone the animosity and unexpected rivalries that pursue her home to her beloved Cornwall. By overcoming these trials and hardships, Annora follows the path toward womanhood and regains at last the love she had lost but had always held so dear.
The Pool of St. Branok
The tale is long and complicated, but attention is held as Angelet, daughter of Annora and Rolf of Midsummer's Eve, begins to enter adulthood. One incident marks her indelibly. At the superstition-laden pool of St. Branok in Cornwall, she is saved from a rapist by Ben, a young family connection on a visit from Australia. When she and Ben dispose of the attacker's body in the pool, their bond is strengthened. Ben returns to Australia in pursuit of gold; Angelet debuts in London and marries a charming scapegrace, a gambler who will eventually take her to Australia in pursuit of a fortune. There the stage is set for Angelet, by now a widow, and Ben, a putative widower.
The story of THe Changeling is told by Angelet's daughter, Rebecca, who was born in Benedict Lansdon's house in an Australian gold-mining township. Before Rebecca was born, her father had died saving another man's life, she had always looked up to him as a great hero and when she heard that her mother was to marry Benedict Lansdon, she was deeply shocked.
The prolific British author of historical romances ( The Pool of St. Branok ) continues her lavishly entwined narrative of the families connected to Benedict Lansdon, now a recently bereaved widower, absentee father and wealthy seeker of a Parliament seat. Narrated by Benedict's aggrieved stepdaughter, Rebecca, this complex tale of love and betrayal concerns a three-cornered sibling relationship involving Rebecca, her half-sister, Belinda and Lucie, a country waif informally adopted by Benedict. Aware that her father blames her for her mother's death in childbirth, Belinda takes refuge in michievous behavior. Placid Lucie, however, fits in well with the family, though her lineage is suspect and clouded with mysterious events at St. Branok's pool. Although Belinda seems the most obvious "changeling," Carr sustains an air of doubt and intrigue. The ambience of the Cornish countryside and of Victorian London permeate this piquantly Gothic family saga.
The Black Swan
Mysterious and romantic sequel to 'The Changeling', continuing the Cornwall saga. When Lucie Landson's father is assassinated in front of his London home, young Lucie is the only witness. Her testimony leads to the arrest, conviction and hanging of an Irish terrorist. But the trauma follows her throughout her life when another disaster - the death of her fiance occurs. She then marries a kind man and they set up house together with his sister. But strange things begin to happen and she begins to believe her life is in danger.
Time for Silence
When Lucinda Greenham and her impetuous friend Annabelinda Denver leave London for finishing school in Europe, neither imagines the trouble to come. It takes many forms: Anabelinda's secret affair; the child born out of wedlock; and the German invasion of Belgium.
With the Germans one step behind, the girls flee across a stunned Europe on the brink of World War I, to arrive safely in England at last. Picking up the pieces of their lives, they consign Annabelinda's damaging past to secrecy, only to be faced with blackmail so severe it leads to murder. As the girls will learn too late, there is a time for truth and a time for silence.
The Gossamer Cord
Dorabella & Violetta Denver
When happy-go-lucky Dorabella Denver marries Dermot Tregarland, a charismatic young Cornishman, her twin sister, Violetta, is haunted by premonitions of disaster. Her worries soon multiply, as rumors of blood feuds and mysterious deaths are linked to her sister's new family. With the arrival of Dorabella's first child, all seems to be well, until Dorabella disappears under suspicious circumstances. Believing her sister drowned and swept out to sea, a devastated Violetta agrees to live with the Tregarlands on their prosperous estate and care for Tristan, her sister's son. But tragedy soon strikes again, claiming another life, before Violetta unmasks the insanity that has plagues the Tregarland family for years.
We'll Meet Again
Dorabella & Violetta Denver
When Violetta Denver last saw her fiance, Jowan Jermyn, he and his regiment were off to defend a weakening Europe from the tyranny of Adolf Hitler. Months, then years, pass without Jowan's return; he is presumed missing in action. Despite the urgings of her family and several would-be suitors, Violetta is determined to wait for him. As she and her happy-go-lucky twin, Dorabella, struggle to do their part during wartime, Dorabella's new beau unwittingly involves the sisters in a dangerous web of intrigue and treason. More than one tragedy must befall the Denver twins before peace is restored.
Daughters of England
Sarah Standish, a naive girl of humble means, defies her parents to run off to become an actress on the London stage. She soon develops a friendship with the well-to-do Lord Rosslyn, a man with more than friendship on his mind. The innocent Sarah weds Rosslyn, and she is pregnant by the time she learns that Rosslyn has another wife. She flees with her daughter, Kate, but dies while Kate is still very young.
Lord Rosslyn's intrigue does not end with Sarah's death; his greed eventually fixes on Kate as a means of securing the fate of Rosslyn Manor through an arranged marriage -- a fate that Kate is determined to deny him.
Family Tree for Carr Series
Dulce m. 1) William Farland
Damask Farland m. Bruno Kingsman
Catharine Kingsman m. 2) Jake Pennlyon
Linnet Pennlyon m. Colum Casvellyn
Tamsyn Casvellyn m. Fennimore Landor
Richard Tolsworthy m.2) Bersaba Landor Angelet Landor m.1)Richard Tolsworthy
Arabella Tolsworthy m.2) Carleton Eversleigh
Priscilla Eversleigh m. Leigh Main
(by Jocelyn Frinton) Damaris Main m. Jeremy Granthorn
| Sabrina Granthorn m. Richard Frenshaw
(by John Field) |
Clarissa m. Sir Lance Clavering Richard m.1) Isabel
Zipporah Clavering m.2) Gerard dAubigne |---------------------------------|
| Jonathan David
Richard Frenshaw m.2) Charlotte d'Aubigne m.1) Charles de Tourville |
| | |
| Claudine de Tourville-------------------m.
Jessica Frenshaw m. Jake Cadorson Peter Lansdon m. Amaryllis Frenshaw
Annora Cadorson m. Rolf Hanson Peter
Gervais Mandeville m.1) Angelet Hanson m.2) Benedict Lansdon
Annora Rebecca Mandeville m. Pedrek Cartwright Lucie Lansdon m. Joel Greenham
Robert Denver m. Lucinda Greenham
Dermot Tregarland m.1) Dorabella Denver Violetta Denver m. Jowan Jermyn