The Children of the New Forest (version 2)

Frederick MARRYAT (1792 - 1848)

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. (Summary from Wikipedia)

Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Historical

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 Chapter 1 Nick Whitley
00:20:50
Play 02 Chapter 2 Nick Whitley
00:27:47
Play 03 Chapter 3 Nick Whitley
00:22:36
Play 04 Chapter 4 Nick Whitley
00:26:33
Play 05 Chapter 5 Nick Whitley
00:31:07
Play 06 Chapter 6 Nick Whitley
00:23:34
Play 07 Chapter 7 Nick Whitley
00:20:47
Play 08 Chapter 8 Nick Whitley
00:19:18
Play 09 Chapter 9 Nick Whitley
00:39:28
Play 10 Chapter 10 Nick Whitley
00:20:08
Play 11 Chapter 11 Nick Whitley
00:36:35
Play 12 Chapter 12 Nick Whitley
00:30:34
Play 13 Chapter 13 Nick Whitley
00:28:43
Play 14 Chapter 14 Nick Whitley
00:32:40
Play 15 Chapter 15 Nick Whitley
00:35:05
Play 16 Chapter 16 Nick Whitley
00:31:55
Play 17 Chapter 17 Nick Whitley
00:33:40
Play 18 Chapter 18 Nick Whitley
00:32:00
Play 19 Chapter 19 Nick Whitley
00:22:51
Play 20 Chapter 20 Nick Whitley
00:33:43
Play 21 Chapter 21 Nick Whitley
00:32:09
Play 22 Chapter 22 Nick Whitley
00:21:09
Play 23 Chapter 23 Nick Whitley
00:32:29
Play 24 Chapter 24 Nick Whitley
00:24:53
Play 25 Chapter 25 Nick Whitley
00:37:41
Play 26 Chapter 26 Nick Whitley
00:23:08
Play 27 Chapter 27 Nick Whitley
00:27:49