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God is an Englishman (Swann Family Saga Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

R. F. Delderfield
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)

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Book Description

From master author R. F. Delderfield, the first in the beloved classic God Is an Englishman series.


The first novel in the epic God Is an Englishman series, this book is a stirring saga of England in the 19th century, as the Industrial Revolution takes hold, forever changing the landscape of England and her people.


Adam Swann, scion of an army family, returns home in 1858 after service with Her Majesty's army in the Crimea and India, determined to build his fortune in the dog-eat-dog world of Victorian commerce. Swann is soon captivated by Henrietta, the high-spirited daughter of a local mill owner. As Swann works to build his name, he and Henrietta share adventures, reversal, and fortune.


A beloved novel by a beloved author, God Is an Englishman is a treasure both for Delderfield fans and the growing legion of fans of historical fiction.


"R. F. Delderfield is a born storyteller."

Sunday Mirror


"A book to get lost in... An epic historical novel artfully contructed."

New York Times Book Review


"A novel in the grand tradition of Thackery and Dickens."

Milwaukee Journal


"A delightful bounty of characters fairly jumps from the pages of God Is an Englishman."

Columbus Dispatch



Editorial Reviews

Review

"A delightful bounty of characters fairly jumps from the pages of God Is An Englishman."

About the Author

Born in 1912., R. F. Delderfield was a journalist, playwright and novelist, renowned for brilliantly portraying slices of English life. He is one of England's beloved novelists, with many of his novels being adapted into television and film, including the landmark BBC miniseries of To Serve Them All My Days.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1994 KB
  • Print Length: 659 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1402218214
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (June 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003H29CLG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,773 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
93 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best family sagas April 20, 2008
Format:Paperback
Adam Swann has followed his family's tradition of military service for long enough to turn 30. He's seen a lot during those years, including a horrific massacre of civilians. When chance places a fortune in rubies in his hands, he's more than ready to make drastic changes. Back to England he goes, the England of a world just prior to the American Civil War, looking for a better way to spend his life. He finds it in two places. First, in a revolutionary business idea sparked by an encounter with a railway official; and second, in a runaway young woman. He marries the woman, factory heiress Henrietta Rawlinson (who's swiftly disinherited by her infuriated father), and he turns the idea into a hauling firm that deliberately fits itself into all the gaps the railway system cannot fill.

That's the bare outline. What makes this novel remarkable, though, isn't its plot. It's the characters, and the way author Delderfield lets them grow naturally out of the time and place in which he sets them. Adam Swann is in many ways a man ahead of that time, disgusted by what he's seen in war and determined to make his way in the world without committing outrages against basic human decency. In fact, he's determined to make a difference for the better while succeeding as a businessman. Henrietta, blessed with her enterpreneur father's sharp mind and quick wits for commerce, grows from a willful, uneducated and thoroughly spoiled girl into a worthy and even challenging partner for Adam in the course of the book's 800-some pages. Nothing seems forced, and none of the details of Victorian England ring false, in all of those pages. Some of the best reading comes from secondary characters who weave in and out of the main story, because each is well drawn and interesting - no matter how brief the appearance.

A tour-de-force, all in all. One of the best "family sagas" around, still, nearly 40 years after its publication.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A perfect novel for "saga junkies" October 8, 2009
Format:Paperback
God Is an Englishman is the first book in this wonderful saga about the Swann family. Adam Swann, a 31-year-old cavalryman in the service of Queen Victoria's army, decides to break off with his family's military tradition and gives up his soldierly life in lieu of starting anew in England as a businessman. The road ahead of him will not be easy, as old sentiments still prevail where people making a living in a new, industrial England are looked down on and someone like Adam, giving up his army career is thought foolish. Adam Swann persists in his desire to be his own boss and not spent his life serving somebody else, even if it's the Crown of England. In his struggles to become a respectable and successful owner of a horse-carriage business, he has a few supporters, including his young wife, Henrietta and, surprisingly, his own father. The readers follow Adam and his personal and business lives for nine years. These are very tumultuous years for England as well. It is the 19th century, the country changes from an agricultural one into an industrial empire, with railroads ruling the transportation, mills, mines and factories replacing the farms and Adam Swann takes on a daring project of using horses as his road to success.

I thoroughly enjoyed God Is an Englishman, so much so that even before I finished it, I went and got part two (Theirs Was the Kingdom). It's not an easy read by any means, but very captivating and really a requirement for anyone who wants to read more about one of the most important periods in England's history. Some might say that it's reminiscent of Dickens's books but I should say that probably only in the time set. Through Delderfield's book I got a hopeful outlook, not a grim one.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Great Read! September 29, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I can think of few better authors to take along on a long plane ride than Delderfield. God Is an Englishman is the first of a trilogy that runs a little out of gas by the end of the third book, but not in the first. To Serve Them All My Days got me hooked on Delderfield, and this series continued it. I can also recommend his book Diana. Alot of his works are out of print, although you can find them at liabraries, or Amazon's auction site -- or bookfinder.com
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very engrossing read! March 9, 2002
Format:Paperback
This book is a must read for any Anglophile. The story traces the development of a haulage firm that serves all of Enland and Wales and part of Scotland. While that is the major focus, the family life of the founder of "Swan on Wheels" is very much a part of it. In fact, all the characters involved are well presented with divergent and believable personalities.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PAGETURNER GREAT WINTR NITE BOOK ALL ALONE December 25, 1998
Format:Paperback
MY WIFE KEPT TELLING ME WHAT A GOOD "READ" THIS BOOK IS.I FINALLY FOUND ALL 3 SWANN SAGA BOOKS AT A USED SALE & I HAVENT LOOKED BACK.THIS AUTHOR HAS THE KNACK TO RELATE TO THE READER EVERY BIT OF WHAT ADAM 'N HETTY WERE EXPERIENCING IN VICTORIAN ENGLAND.I HAVE BEEN IN WHEELED TRANSPORTATION 40 YEARS AND I FELT LIKE I WAS WALKING STEP FOR STEP WITH ADAM SWANN FROM THE TIME HE FOUND THE RUBY NECKLACE TO THE 1ST MAXIE 10 TRK ORDER.I LAUGHED N CRIED THRU OUT EACH VOLUME.I AM NOW IN A SEARCH MODE FOR ANY N ALL OF DELDERFIELD BOOKS I HAVENT READ.I'D LIKE TO SEE A FAN CLUB....
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God Is AN Englishman November 18, 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have read God is an Englishman 45 years ago. It was a great book to read. I have enjoyed reading it so much that I have read it twice. There is a book 2 that follows this first edition and that too is great. I wish you they whoever can produce a movie of the story. It would make a wonderful masterpiece. Let the author know to produce a movie and let me know because I would be the first to see and then purchise it on DVD.
Thank you for a great site. I will be ordering a copy of this book again in the near future. I strongly recommend this book to all single ladies who enjoy reading a good novel and romantic story. Henrietta Netta, Exeter PA
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this very much
As being Brit. I enjoyed this very much.
Published 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterful storyteller
One of the best books I've read. I am coming to Delderfield late in life. He was not on any of my college reading lists and I never saw any reviews of his books, although that may... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Uintah Springs
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this author
I love this author. He writes like Michener - great detail. I love the family so am very glad there are 2 more books in the
series. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ann in Florida
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Boring, I read anything, could not finish that one!
Published 2 months ago by Coton de Tulear
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
Spouses book collection
Published 2 months ago by A. R. Monahan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read if you are into England and period pieces.
Published 3 months ago by Ro
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice read. Love historical fiction and this was a ...
Nice read. Love historical fiction and this was a good one for me. Not being from England I didn't connect with all the towns and areas, but that was ok.
Published 3 months ago by kathy bost
5.0 out of 5 stars God is an Englishman
This is a great book, unfortunately I realized too late that I had read it before. I am giving it a second chance because it's worth it! Read more
Published 3 months ago by marion
2.0 out of 5 stars OK but not in the same league as To Serve Them All My Days
I got this book as I'd read (several times) To Serve Them All My Days, one of my absolute, all-time favorite novels by RF Delderfield, in which every page is a delight.. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Caroline H. Sullivan
4.0 out of 5 stars but a good story, as sagas go - and illuminating as ...
Dragged on a bit, and the social point of view was totally outdated at this point,.but a good story, as sagas go - and illuminating as far as how we got to where we are now.
Published 4 months ago by Jan Seides
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