Some time back on Random I posted about Cynthia Harrod-Eagles and her marvellous series of books on the Morland family. I started reading these about fifteen years ago, stumbled across one at my library without knowing anything about it, found I was in the middle of them all and then went back to the beginning and read them all in order. I was bowled over by the breadth of knowledge and research that the author must have done to create this living, breathing family. We went through the Restoration of Charles II, the Napoleonic Wars, the French Revolution, the sinking of the Titanic, you name an event in history, it was there. The period detail was simply stunning.
So it was with a feeling of disbelief that I discovered that the publishers had told CHE that they were not going to publish any more as they were borrowed from libraries and did not sell enough. How incredibly shortsighted - when I think of some of the crap masquerading as historical novels currently gracing the shelves in Waterstones (headless women by the shed load) I simply could not understand their stance. But I will not repeat what I said then, here is my earlier post.
I recently read The Dancing Years which was published a while back and another one is on its way to me as I write, and contacted CHE again to ask if this one would really be the last. I was delighted to hear back from her that the publishers were inundated with complaints and protests about the cessation of these books (I note there is a Yahoo group dedicated to the Morlands and they were pretty vocal), and so they now seem to be backtracking. The Dancing Years was meant to be the last one, The Winding Road is now available and there will be one more and, hopefully, they will commission another one or two after that.
The battle seems to be won but not the war so those of you who wrote in and protested, and lots of you did, please keep up the pressure to bring this marvellous series up to the present day. I have decided that I am going to go right back to the beginning of the Morlands and start reading them all over again. As you know I am a binge reader par excellence and there are enough of these to keep me happy for some considerable time.
I do wish the Kirov books, there were three of them if I remember rightly, were also available. I really enjoyed these and, again, the historical background was spot on. They are available second hand but I do think they would sell well if repackaged, re-branded and resold. I am staggered that the publishers don't see this.
But, at the moment, all is well and I am delighted to hear it. I thank everyone who left comments and who contacted me regarding the Morlands. Those of you who have not seen my original post, do read it and look at the number of reader comments underneath - 145, the most I have ever had on one subject.