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Children of the New Forest (version 2)

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By: (1792-1848)

Children of the New Forest is a captivating historical novel that follows the adventures of five siblings who find themselves orphaned and forced to fend for themselves during the English Civil War. Set in the idyllic New Forest, the story is filled with vivid descriptions of nature and the challenges the children face as they navigate their new reality.

The author, Frederick Marryat, does a fantastic job of immersing the reader in the time period, with detailed descriptions of the countryside, the struggles of war, and the complex political landscape of the time. The characters are well-developed and endearing, each with their own unique personalities and strengths. The siblings' bond and loyalty to each other is heartwarming and adds depth to the story.

One of the strengths of Children of the New Forest is the way it seamlessly weaves together themes of family, loyalty, and resilience. Despite the hardships they face, the children exhibit remarkable strength and determination to overcome adversity. The plot is engaging, with plenty of action, suspense, and moments that tug at the heartstrings.

Overall, Children of the New Forest is a timeless tale that will appeal to readers of all ages. It is a beautifully written story that transports the reader to another time and place, and leaves a lasting impression. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a well-crafted historical novel filled with adventure, heart, and hope.

Book Description:
The Children of the New Forest is a children's novel published in 1847 by Frederick Marryat. It is set in the time of the English Civil War and the Commonwealth. The story follows the fortunes of the four Beverley children who are orphaned during the war, and hide from their Roundhead oppressors in the shelter of the New Forest where they learn to live off the land.

The story begins in 1647 when King Charles I has been defeated in the civil war and has fled from London towards the New Forest. Parliamentary soldiers have been sent to search the forest and decide to burn Arnwood, the house of Colonel Beverley, a Cavalier officer killed at the Battle of Naseby. The four orphan children of the house, Edward, Humphrey, Alice and Edith, are believed to have died in the flames. However, they are saved by Jacob Armitage, a local gamekeeper, who hides them in his isolated cottage acting as his grandchildren.

Under Armitage's guidance, the children adapt from an aristocratic lifestyle to that of simple foresters. After Armitage's death, Edward takes charge and the children develop and expand the farmstead, aided by the entrepreneurial spirit of the younger brother Humphrey. They are assisted by a gypsy boy, Pablo, who they rescue from a pitfall trap. A sub-plot involves a hostile Puritan gamekeeper named Corbould who seeks to harm Edward and his family. Edward also encounters the sympathetic Puritan, Heatherstone, placed in charge of the Royal land in the New Forest, and rescues his daughter, Patience, in a house-fire. Edward leaves the cottage and works as a secretary for Heatherstone, but Edward maintains the pretence that he is the grandson of Jacob Armitage.

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