Title: 'THE CHILDREN OF THE NEW FOREST`'
Author: Captain Frederick Marryat
Simplified ... by Michael West
Edited: London : Longman, 1976
The CHILDREN OF THE NEW FOREST is a historical novel originally written for young people, by Captain Frederick Marryat and published for the first time in 1847. This book is a brief and simplified version of the original work.
The story takes place during the English Civil War (1642–1651) when the disputes between the Parliament and King Charles II ended with the rise of the puritans that were led by Cronwel. The Puritans were known as Round Heads due to the form of their hats.
King Charles was defeated and then executed by the rebels. Cronwel was made Lord Protector and Englan turned into a republican Commonwealth. Under his dictatorship, from then on, he initiated an implacable and cruel persecution of all his enemies: the suspects of loyalty to the King, the Catholics, the Scottish and the Irish people.
The New Forest, situated in the south of England, was and still remains , a Royal Forest, it has been used by the kings to go hunting. Nowadays it is a National Park.
Colonel Beverley, who died in the battle of Naseby, was loyal to the King. When the Rounds Heads burned their mansion in the New Forest, his orphaned children escaped a certain death, thanks to a loyal servant, an elderly forest guard. Pretending they were his own grandsons, the forest guard was able to protect the children's lives. In addition, the children, two boys and two girls, discover a new life in the forest and how to do things by themselves
The story continues with diverse vicissitudes and adventures throughout the history of England in those days, until the moment the Restoration by King Charkes III takes place 9 years later. The children, already adults, will recover then their family estate.
In my opinion the novel is quite easy to read. I think the reading is pleasant and interesting since it hooks the reader until the end, at least to anyone who likes the historical novel. Although it is a brief version, the author's message remains clear enough He tries to instill the children in the Victorian era, values such as honor, loyalty and the spirit of self-sacrifice.
In short, it is an enjoyable novel, I recommend it.
Review by José María Yáñez
(2nd year basic level)