Thanks, Dwight - I will tell the appropriate person.
Seemingly a couple of hundred versions available from Abe Books, prices from around 64p to £416, take your pick.
I've bought a couple of fairly rare "childhood" books via Abe, and always been well pleased, it's a great resource.
This book is on my Christmas list!† I haven't read it and it looks as though there is a treat in store if it can be obtained.
Thank you Namps, for the introduction.
The Grove of Eagles by Winston Graham ......Book One - Chapter One†I was born on the 25th February, 1578. Later in the year my father married Dorothy Monck, an heiress, of Potheridge in Devon, and by her had fourteen children - nine sons†and five daughters - of whom only four died in infancy.I did not know my mother. I was brought up in my father's house, as his son, and bore his name of Killigrew, and was christened Maugan.We came from St Erme, near Truro in the county of Cornwall where one Ralph Killigrew about 1240 was granted permission by Henry III to bear arms. Ralph's great-grandson was called Simon, and this Simon in 1385 married Joan, or Arwenack, which is at the mouth of the River Fal, and the family moved there and was enriched. Five generations later when the eighth Henry, at war with the French, thought to build a castle commanding the mouth of the River Fal, he chose as his site an old ruined fort on Killigrew land hard by Arwenack House; and the John Killigrew then living - my great-grandfather - was created first captain of the castle and knighted the same year.This John Killigrew was a man then in middle life, stout and a little pock-marked; his portrait, which we had until it was burned, shows him to have the round face of the Killigrews, with the prominent eyes and cleft chin and fair hair that come to some of the men. He had married a rich woman, Elizabeth Trewinnard, and had gained much from the dissolution of the monasteries; so that his lands and properties extended from the River Fal to the Helford Passage, and he held the tithes of sixteen parishes and had an incoming of above £6,000 a year. No doubt it seemed to him that the house he lived in under the shadow of the castle was unworthy of his new wealth and status, for he decided to pull the old house down and to build in its place the biggest house in Cornwall.†So the new Arwenack in which I was born was built. It was not finished until 1567, and my great-grandfather lived only to see the last stone in place before he fell from his horse and died.He was not a popular man, and there were not lacking people to whisper that this was an omen that overweening pride should bring no good in its wake. True the new Arwenack was seldom a happy house in my lifetime; but equally one can seek for a practical cause and see it in the simple fact that my great-grandfather overreached himself. Our family, for all its ancient lineage and good estate, lacked the solidity of great possessions such as could maintain without strain the extravagant way of life he set for it. From his time, therefore, there was a hint of the feverish and the insolvent in our lives. Each generation tried to re-establish itself; grandfather and my father were much at court, spending heavily to gain royal favour and office. When they received office they could no longer afford to be scrupulous in their use of it.But of all this I knew nothing when I was young.The Fal River, which is navigable as far as Tregony, broadens three miles from the sea and forms a great natural anchorage, one of the finest in the world. A mile inland from the mouth a narrow tongue of land splits its west bank, and the creek thus formed runs another mile or more off the main river to the town of Penryn, which is the main port of the river.But at the very mouth of the river there juts out, again on its west side, a promontory of land shaped like the head of a guinea-fowl. Imagine that in the head there is an eye: this is the Pendennis Castle of which my great-grandfather, my grandfather and my father were captains; and like the eye it commands all ways of approach. Just below the neck of the guinea fowl is the house of Arwenack, and all the huge body of the bird was Killigrew land.So Arwenack House, facing south, looks on the blue smile of the river mouth. But behind the house, behind a narrow hump of land, is the sea again, all the width of Falmouth Bay and the Channel.
Tide was nearly full. Mist lay in a grey scarf along the line of the cliffs. .. and they walked home hand in hand through the slanting shadows of the new darkness.
My copy is a paperback, also obtained from Amazon for 1p. I thoroughly enjoyed it - the characters are very believable, easy to relate to and make one want to find out what's next. The period comes through as seemingly authentic. I recommend it.
The Grove of Eagles, first published in 1963 is a gripping and absorbing tale of the Cornish Killigrew family from Arwenack House, situated at the mouth of the river Fal. A beautifully woven tapestry depicting life in Cornwall in Elizabethan England. It leads us into dangerous, swash-buckling and thrilling adventures on the high seas and into a world of courtly intrigue and romance. The primary character, Maugan Killigrew, illegitimate son of John Killigrew, as ever, masterfully created, swiftly captures our hearts and imagination as we step into his world.The Oxford Times review stated 'The canvas is wide, the picture stirring and brilliantly detailed. This is a rich absorbing tale of a corner of England during hazardous times, and of a full-blooded family.'†A L Rowse writes, 'Winston Graham has such knowledge of Elizabethan Cornwall, such fidelity to fact and atmosphere, that I am conquered, as no doubt his many readers will be.'.......................Please feel free to share with us your thoughts about this incredible story. What did you enjoy most about it? Who was your favourite character and why ?
I must try and get myself a copy of this book.† Life is a bit hectic just now, but maybe good old Amazon will come up with another copy soon.
Its spellbinding Namps! I wish I had time to reread it properly again soon.† Alas, I won't be able to for a wee while as its a can't put down kinda story!
My lovely, generous Poldark friend Bells very kindly offered to let me have a lend of her first edition copy of this book, but I would have been too worried about it getting damaged en route or whilst I was borrowing it as it was such a precious first edition, so I was delighted to find a copy on Amazon for the princely sum of 1p! †It arrived this afternoon and from the moment I opened it I was compulsively drawn in, entranced by and excited to read on. †Even before the end of the first magical chapter I had met numerous characters, their ancestors of course, whose names I recognised from our wonderful Poldark story. †My first impression was of massive admiration for the vast depth of knowledge WG shows for the Tudor period, he is, as we all so rightly agree, truly an amazing and outstandingly gifted story teller. †I can't wait to read on!
26. The Grove of Eagles - 1970.
"Masterly storytelling. Absorbing....written with sure skill, a nice feeling for character and a vast knowledge of the 16th Century." - New York Times.
"Lusty and rewarding - all the excitement of a nation at war with Spain." - Daily Express.
"Winston Graham has such a knowledge of Elizabethan Cornwall, such fidelity to fact and atmosphere, that I am conquered, as no doubt his many readers will be." - A.L.Rowse.
"The canvas is wide, the picture stirring and brilliantly detailed. This is a rich, absorbing tale of a corner of England during hazardous times, and of a full-blooded family." - Oxford Times.
*††† *††† *††† *
"In 1588 the Spanish Armada had been defeated in the English Channel and the whole of Elizabethan England was alert for the revenge that surely had to follow.
Men like John Killigrew, commanding a key position on the Cornish coast, were vital to the survival of the country, and it is through the eyes of his eldest son, Maugan, that the story unfolds. Rich in action, it is also crowded with unforgettable characters, many of them based on actual historical figures.
Maugan Killigrew himself emerges, through his loneliness and his love, his physical suffering in a Spanish gaol, as a touchingly honest and believable character who is, above all things, a man of his time."
-- Edited by Ross Poldark on Sunday 27th of January 2013 01:27:16 PM
"Perfection is a full stop .... Ever the climbing but never the attaining Of the mountain top." W.G.