First edition.
Publisher, Date:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2018.
400 pages ; 25 cm
"Working at his father's market stall in Victorian England, James Lionel Falconer determines to become a merchant prince. Hardworking and trustworthy, he catches the eye of Henry Malvern, head of the most prestigious London shipping company. When threats against his reputation--and his life--emerge, James must prove that he truly is the master of his fate"-- Provided by publisher.
9781250187390 (hardcover)
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F Bra
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Author Notes
Barbara Taylor Bradford was born in Upper Armley, Leeds, in Yorkshire on May 10, 1933. At the age of fifteen, she was working as a typist for the Yorkshire Evening Post. After six months, she was promoted to cub reporter in the newsroom. At eighteen, she became the newspaper's Woman's Page Editor and at twenty, she headed for London where she became Fashion Editor of the magazine Woman's Own. She also reported for the London Evening News, Today Magazine and other publications, covering everything from crime to show business. In 1961, she met her future husband Robert Bradford and they were married in 1963. After they married, they moved to the United States and she began writing a syndicated column, Designing Woman. The column was published for twelve years and received several awards. <p> Her debut novel, A Woman of Substance, was published in 1979 and she has since written over 20 novels. Many of her novels have been made into television mini-series including A Woman of Substance, Voice of the Heart, Act of Will, Everything to Gain and A Secret Affair. She also wrote children's books and eight books on decorating. <p> She has received numerous awards for her work including the Matrix Award from New York Women in Communication Inc in 1985, the City of Hope's Spirit of Life Award in 1995, the Five Towns Music and Art Foundation's Award of Achievement for outstanding accomplishments in the field of Literature in 1997 and the British Excellence Award in 1998. She was inducted into the Matrix Hall of Fame in 1998 and into the Writers Hall of Fame of America in 2003. In 2007, she was awarded an OBE (The Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II for her contributions to Literature. She is a member of the James Madison Council of the Library of Congress. She is also involved in several charity projects such as Literacy Partners and the Police Athletic League of New York City. She made the New York Times Best Seller List in 2014 with her title Cavendon Hall. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)
Fiction/Biography Profile
James Lionel Falconer (Male), Self-made man, Charismatic, Married, Father, Struggles after back to back tragedies; royal summons gives him hope for the future
Life changes
England - Europe
Time Period
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

The sprawling first installment in Bradford's House of Falconer series, set in Victorian England, follows James Falconer, son of a struggling merchant, and Alexis Malvern, the daughter of one of London's most successful businessmen, as their lives move toward each other. James is a young man with ambitions of rising above his station to become a "merchant prince." Beyond an attack on James by a pair of "bruisers" with unknown motives, and malicious rumors of his affair with an older widow, James encounters very few setbacks. Alexis is an upper-class woman known for her business acumen and charitable work setting up a safe house for battered women in Whitechapel. She falls in love with wealthy banker Sebastian Trevelyan, despite years of protestation that she would never marry. They have a whirlwind affair and engagement, only to be torn apart by tragedy. James and Alexis's paths are mostly separate, their lives not meeting until late in the novel when James is hired by Alexis's father, but they are united by driven, single-minded natures. Though the strands of the story are slow to converge, this series opener nicely sets the groundwork for future installments. Bradford's many fans will find a vast new cast of characters to connect with. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  Booklist Review

In Victorian England, teenager James Falconer has what it takes to get ahead: ambition, intelligence, and looks. He also has a plan: to rise from working at his father's market stall and become a successful merchant and owner of an arcade full of shops. Alexis Malvern is likewise gifted, although she starts out higher on the social ladder; this beautiful and wealthy socialite is already helping manage the family company. Consumed by the twin callings of business and charity, Alexis vows never to marry, until immediately tumbling head over heels in love. In spite of the title, James' story often takes a backseat to Alexis' in this first of a new series for the prolific, best-selling Bradford. Historical-fiction enthusiasts may balk at repetition, infodumps, tenuous marquee-name connections (e.g., Sigmund Freud, Jack the Ripper), and sketchy historicity. But Bradford's legion of fans will flock happily to this romantic saga for its clothing descriptions, frock-flick feel, love at first sight, and extended family networks that promise to figure in future novels in the House of Falconer series.--Bethany Latham Copyright 2018 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

The launch of what promises to be another blockbuster Bradford series.Putting aside her Downton Abbey homage (Secrets of Cavendon, 2017, etc.), Bradford returns to her roots chronicling retail dynasties like the Harte family of A Woman of Substance (1979). Readers be warned: The opening volume of The House of Falconer saga appears to be an extended prologue. Replete with opulent dcor, beautiful but unassuming rich people, and homey scenes, the narrative is untroubled by the jeopardy this genre demands. A few exceptions: In 1884, 14-year-old James Lionel Falconer, future founder of what is sure to be the Falconer mercantile empire, suffers chest pains while pushing a wheelbarrow near his father's stall at Malvern Market. His mother, Maude, is afflicted with a cold which could become pneumonia. However, since no outcome ensues for either ailment, we can only assume this is foreshadowing for future novels. When James, now 17, and a friend are set upon by thugs and badly beaten, the police and family suspect a targeted attack, but this loose end is also left dangling. Sent to the port city of Hull, James advances in an uncle's shipping company and is seduced by an older and cooperatively unclingy widow. James states he "prefer[s] older women"which bodes well for his future, spoiler alert, liaisons. Meanwhile, Alexis, 25, the auburn-tressed daughter of commercial real estate kingpin Henry Malvern, falls in mutual love at first sight with Sebastian Trevalian, a widowed banker 15 years her senior. Their families approve (including Sebastian's daughter Claudia, Alexis' friend), and money is no problem; something has to go wrong, but large swaths of genteel gloating must be endured before it does. As one forgives a dear friend who tends to blather on, readers may tolerate Bradford's pedestrian, repetitious prose and even enjoy this leisurely stroll through Victorian times, contenting themselves with occasional celebrity references: Doctor Freud, Jack the Ripper, Crown Prince Bertie, among others. The good characters are unambiguously and tediously good, and no believable antagonist arises to create conflict.A slow-paced, complacent introduction to the excitement to comewe hope! Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
<p> From #1 New York Times bestselling author Barbara Taylor Bradford comes the first book in a stunning new historical saga. </p> <p>Victorian England is a country of sharp divides between rich and poor, but James Lionel Falconer, who spends his days working at his father's market stall, is determined to become a merchant prince. Even as a child, he is everything a self-made man should be: handsome, ambitious, charming, and brimming with self-confidence. James quickly rises through the ranks, proving himself both hardworking and trustworthy, and catching the eye of Henry Malvern, head of the most prestigious shipping company in London. But when threats against his reputation - and his life - begin to emerge, James will have to prove that he truly is the master of his fate.</p> <p>Through scandal and romance, tragedy and triumph, the Falconer and Malvern family's lives intertwine in unexpected ways in this expansive and intricately detailed new novel filled with drama, intrigue, and Bradford's trademark cast of compelling characters.</p>
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