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Extended Audio Sample The Forest, by Edward Rutherfurd Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,736 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Edward Rutherfurd Narrator: Lynn Redgrave Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In The Forest, Edward Rutherfurd, whose greatly admired Sarum and London have captivated millions of readers, now unfolds the saga of nine turbulent centuries in the life of the quintessential English heartland: the New Forest. 

The New Forest lies in a vast bowl scooped from England's southern coast. To its west runs the river Avon, from Sarum to the harbor at Christchurch, and to its east the port of Southampton. In the heart of the New Forest itself, some one hundred thousand acres of forest and heath sweep down to the Solent water and the Isle of Wight and overlook the English Channel just beyond.

From the time of the Norman Conquest to the present day, the New Forest has remained a mysterious, powerful, almost mythical place. It is here that Saxon and Norman kings rode forth with their hunting parties, and where William the Conqueror's son Rufus was mysteriously killed. The mighty oaks of the forest were used to build the ships for Admiral Nelson's navy, and the fishermen who lived in Christchurch and Lymington helped Sir Francis Drake fight off the Spanish Armada. The New Forest is the perfect backdrop for the families who people this epic story -- a story that makes clear the connections between the dark, dangerous, sensuous life of the primeval forest and the genteel life of Georgian and Regency society.

There are well-born ladies and lowly woodsmen, sailors and smugglers, witches and Cistercian monks, who live in the lovely abbey of Beaulieu. The Forest's Lady Adela is the cousin of Walter Tyrrell, who is blamed for the death of Rufus, son of the Conqueror. There is Brother Adam of Beaulieu, who is content with his service to God until a poaching incident puts him in contact with an intriguing young woman named Mary Furzey. There is the merchant Totton family of the harbor town of Lymington, and the Penruddocks and Lisles of Moyles Court. The feuds, wars, loyalties, and passions of many hundreds of years reach their climax in a crime that shatters the decorous society of Bath in the days of Jane Austen.

Edward Rutherfurd is a master storyteller whose sense of place and of character -- whether fictional or historical -- is at its most vibrant in The Forest. Like Sarum and London, it is a gripping novel of living history.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Judy Brunner | 2/11/2014

    " Love all of Rutherfurd's books, this is the history of the New Forest from the beginning seen through the eyes of different families from different levels of society. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tanya | 2/8/2014

    " I really enjoy his books - this one was easier to get in to than Sarum and I read it over the holiday weekend trip. I'd recommend it if you are a fan of his historical fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sharyn Heili | 2/1/2014

    " Wonderful, epic historical novel that author Rutherfurd is know for. It takes a time commitment to finish, but like all of Rutherfurd's books it is well worth it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Dana | 1/31/2014

    " This book is so enjoyable, I could not put it down. I love the historical fiction and the intertwining of the families in the forest. It was so interesting, I would highly recommend it. "

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