The King’s General too nasty for lover’s role

The King’s General is an intricate tale of love and suspense told by its heroine.

It’s set against the background of the English Civil War, a series of political and military actions between 1641 and 1651 to determine whether king or parliament would rule the nation.

The King’s General by Daphne du Maurier

Doubleday, 1946. 368 p. 1946 bestseller #1. My grade: C+.

Mounted soldier raises sword against enemy
Hand-to-hand combat, 17th century style.

Honor Harris falls madly in love with Gen. Richard Grenvile, who is attempting to wipe out the Parliamentarians and control England for Charles I.

Crippled in an accident, Honor refuses to marry Richard rather than be a life-long burden to her him.

Richard is furious.

To spite Honor, Richard marries a wealthy woman, but learns too late that he can’t get his hands on the wife’s money. Richard physically abuses her and verbally abuses their son.

When Richard reappears in Honor’s life, she doesn’t turn him away.

Honor’s affair with the King’s general places her entire family in danger.

Although The King’s General has elements to thrill and chill—secret passages, midnight intruders, marauding army deserters, a defenseless woman in a wheelchair—it never manages to do either.

That’s mainly because du Maurier doesn’t make it credible that anyone as nice as Honor could stand Richard Grenvile.

He’s a nasty piece of work in the novel as he was in life.

© 2016 Linda Gorton Aragoni

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Linda G. Aragoni

I make big ideas simple for learners. In eight sentences, 34 words, I taught teens and adults to write competently. Now I'm writing guides to turn willing volunteers into great nursing home visitors.

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