From Victorian London to the vibrant port cities of England and France, from gracious stately homes in Gloucestershire to the decadence of Paris, Master of his Fate launches an unforgettable new historical series.
London 1884: Queen Victoria is Empress of India and Britain is at its peak of worldwide power.
James Falconer works as a barrow boy in a flourishing London market owned by Henry Malvern. But James hungers for more. Turning away from family tradition, he dreams of building an empire of stores like Fortnum and Mason’s and believes that Henry, along with his daughter and heir Alexis, could offer him a way to climb beyond his beginnings.
But tragedy and betrayal threaten the dreams of both James and Alexis – and jeopardise everything they hold dear…
‘This splendid new historical family saga takes you from the stately homes of England to the decadence of Paris as barrowboy James Falconer pursues his dream of building an empire of department stores’ My Weekly
‘The first in a new series set in Victorian London, braiding the fates of a self-made charmer with a serious-minded heiress.’ Daily Mail
‘A tale of fortunes lost, betrayal, revenge and, of course, love’ Sun
Acclaim for Barbara Taylor Bradford:
‘A stately home, a dangerous secret and two families whose fates have been intertwined for generations…a gripping period piece set on the brink of the Great War. Exquisite escapism of the highest order.’ The Lady
‘A classic saga of loyalty, secrets, passion and intrigue…if you’ve been suffering withdrawal symptoms from Downton, this is for you’ Daily Mail
About the author
Barbara Taylor Bradford was born and raised in England. She started her writing career on the Yorkshire Evening Post and later worked as a journalist in London. Her first novel, A Woman of Substance, became an enduring bestseller and was followed by many more, including the bestselling Cavendon series. Barbara’s books have sold more than eighty-one million copies worldwide in more than ninety countries and forty languages. In October of 2007, Barbara was appointed an OBE by the Queen for her services to literature.
To find out more and join the huge community of her fans, find Barbara on Facebook @BarbaraTaylorBradford, follow her on Twitter @BTBNovelist and sign up to her newsletter at www.barbarataylorbradford.co.uk.
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.