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The Favored Child: A Novel (Wildacre Trilogy) Paperback – July 2, 2003

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Product Details

  • Series: Wildacre Trilogy
  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Reprint edition (July 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743249305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743249300
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This impassioned sequel to the page-turning Wideacre carries the fortunes of the Lacey family, now decaying country gentry, into the late 18th century. "Gregory's galloping plot leads to a savage but satisfying conclusion that piques anticipation for the trilogy's conclusion," commented PW.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Written with sensitivity, this is a sequel to New York Times best-seller Wideacre . The story, set in 18th-century Sussex, England, revolves arouond Julia Lacey; Richard, her cousin and joint heir; and Wideacre, the once-great Lacey estate. As Wideacre again prospers under Julia's almost magical agricultural ability, superstitious villagers who glimpse her visions of the future ask if she is the "favored child" predicted by Wideacre's former mistress before her violent and untimely death. Gregory's precise images and skillful descriptions make this 18th-century microcosm vivid. Love, terror, friendship, incest, class conflicts, and brutal power struggles are set against the pastoral beauty of an estate being restored to its former importance. Highly recommended for readers of this type of historical fiction. Doubleday Book Club main selection; Literary Guild alternate.
- Ellen R. Cohen, Rockville, Md.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Born in Kenya in 1954, Philippa Gregory moved to England with her family and was educated in Bristol and at the National Council for the Training of Journalists course in Cardiff. She worked as a senior reporter on the Portsmouth News, and as a journalist and producer for BBC radio.

Philippa obtained a BA degree in history at the University of Sussex in Brighton and a PhD at Edinburgh University in 18th-century literature. Her first novel, Wideacre, was written as she completed her PhD and became an instant world wide bestseller. On its publication, she became a full-time writer, and now lives with her family on a small farm in the North of England.

Her knowledge of gothic 18th century novels led to Philippa writing Wideacre, which was followed by a haunting sequel, The Favoured Child, and the delightful happy ending of the trilogy: Meridon. This novel was listed in Feminist Book Fortnight and for the Romantic Novel of the Year at the same time - one of the many instances of Philippa's work appealing to very different readers.

The trilogy was followed by The Wise Woman, a dazzling, disturbing novel of dark powers and desires set against the rich tapestry of the Reformation, and by Fallen Skies, an evocative realistic story set after the First World War. Her novel A Respectable Trade took her back to the 18th century where her knowledge of the slave trade and her home town of Bristol produced a haunting novel of slave trading and its terrible human cost. This is the only modern novel to explore the tragedies of slavery in England itself, and features a group of kidnapped African people trying to find their freedom in the elegant houses of 18th century Clifton. Gregory adapted her book for a highly acclaimed BBC television production which won the prize for drama from the Commission for Racial Equality and was shortlisted for a BAFTA for the screenplay.

Next came two of Gregory's best-loved novels, Earthly Joys and Virgin Earth, based on the true-life story of father and son John Tradescant working in the upheaval of the English Civil War. In these works Gregory pioneered the genre which has become her own: fictional biography, the true story of a real person brought to life with painstaking research and passionate verve.

The flowering of this new style was undoubtedly The Other Boleyn Girl, a runaway best-seller which stormed the US market and then went worldwide telling the story of the little-known sister to Anne Boleyn. Now published in 26 countries with more than a million copies in print in the US alone, this is becoming a classic historical novel, winning the Parker Pen Novel of the Year award 2002, and the Romantic Times fictional biography award. The Other Boleyn Girl was adapted for the BBC as a single television drama and a film is now in production starring Scarlett Johansson as Mary Boleyn, Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn and Eric Bana as Henry VIII.

A regular contributor to newspapers and magazines, with short stories, features and reviews, Philippa is also a frequent broadcaster and a regular contestant on Round Britain Quiz for BBC Radio 4 and the Tudor expert for Channel 4's Time Team.

She lives in the North of England with her husband and two children and in addition to interests that include riding, walking, skiing and gardening (an interest born from research into the Tradescant family for her novel, Virgin Earth), she also runs a small charity building wells in school gardens in The Gambia. Fifty-six wells have been built by UK donors to date.

Customer Reviews

I have always said that no book read is a waste of time.
M.J. Ross
The really annoying thing about their relationship is that there is never really a solid reason why Julia loves Richard so much.
The Favored Child, the third book of the Wideacre trilogy, is a great read!
Irene Soborowski

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Ellis Bell VINE VOICE on March 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
The Favored Child starts fifteen years after Wide acre left off. Julia Lacey and her cousin Richard MacAndrew are growing up together, raised by Celia. The estate of Wideacre was left in ruins years before be Beatrice Lacey, and the three live in a small cottage at the edge of the grounds. They are not popular in the village of Acre, where Beatrice Lacey's memory lives on. Beatrice's ghost also lives on in her niece, Julia. Julia has dreams in which she actually is Beatrice. In addition, the physical resemblance is extremely close.

Julia grows up with her cousin, Richard. They are betrothed, but cannot marry because, as we learned in the first book of the trilogy, they are not only cousins but brother and sister as well. However, the cousins will inherit Wideacre jointly when they come of age.

It is at the beginning of the novel that John MacAndrew comes home from India, a wealthy man. He plans to restore Wideacre to its former greatness--without the corruption. He hires a man named Ralph Megson to be the bailiff--the same man who became such a terror to Beatrice. However, his character is drawn here nore sympathetically, and he became one of my most favorite from this book. Julia's love for Wideacre grows into an obsession, and she and her mother go to Bath, where Julia will learn to become a proper lady.

It is there that she meets James Fortescue, one of the most eligible bachelors in Bath. Betrothed, Julia returns once more to Wideacre to await her upcoming wedding. But a series of tragic happenings occur, and she is powerless to stop it. Soon Julia finds herself pregnant and forced to marry her cousin. What startled me about this was that Julia never tried to do anything to stop her cousin.
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77 of 97 people found the following review helpful By M.J. Ross on February 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
I can only say after reading these books that I am glad that I read "The Queen's Fool" and "The Other Bolyn Girl" first. If I hadn't, nothing could have inspired me to pick up another of this author's books. This book was marginally more enjoyable than its predecessor, "Wideacre."
Although they are beautifully written, the characters are thoroughly unlikable and unbelievable. The story lines are trite and predictable. In this trilogy, the author has seemed to forget the tales' integrity and instead gone for shock value. Most of the characters in these books just need to be slapped or put out of their misery.
If you like drama-queen stories intended to shock, I would suggest reading any book by V.C. Andrews rather than this trilogy. At least most of the characters in the V.C. Andrews books cannot do anything to improve their situations merely by standing up and being human.
I have always said that no book read is a waste of time. I am sad to say I was wrong. These books have wasted valuable time that I could have spent on something more worthwhile.
I would recommend to ANY reader two other books by this author, and those would be the aforementioned "The Queen's Fool" and "The Other Boleyn Girl." Both are great reads and worth 5 stars--more if it were possible to rate them that highly.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Chayadore on March 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
There were a lot of things that i found lacking in this book. Firstly i felt like The Favored child was a Wideacre reversed, in Wideacre Beatrice was evil and Harry was manipulated, here Richard is evil and Julia is manipulated. But what made Wideacre so facinating was that it was told from Beatrice's perspective, and we therefor got to see what made Beatrice be so evil, also it was facinating to read about a strong women, at a time when women had no power, and watch her control everyone around her.

We dont get this insight into Richard, because the story is told by Julia. Julia is a very weak character, and it is painfully annoying to watch her constantly manipulated by Richard, and worst of all, not realizing she's being manipulated!!! She doesnt even try to stop him as he ruins her life, she just resigns herself to her fate. I wanted to slap her! By the end of the book i felt like anyone as stupid as she was deserves what happened to her. Richard was a big let down after Beatrice. Whereas Beatrice's motives were stemmed from her obsessive love of the land, Richard is simply powerhungry and psychopathic.

I do feel that Wideacre should have been a stand alone book. If i had read this book before wideacre maybe i would have liked it, as it is i was disapointed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
Firstly, I would like to say that I am not a child, I simply didn't have time to sign in and I really felt compelled to write a review.

"The Favored Child" is a fascinating piece of historical fiction. Gregory, once again, gives her readers a peek at the world in which women in the early 1800's live. A world where there is utter powerlessness for a woman, even an heir to property. She also shows us the struggles of the poor and impoverished. The juxtaposition of the separate classes enables her reader to see that each class of society in this time period embodied different freedoms and restraints. Women were not citizens in their own right. Gregory does an amazing job of delving into the mind of women of this era. As women have always been reflective, Julia Lacey, the main character of this novel reflects upon her life...over and over. This, to me, rings realistically to women across the ages. I don't know a woman who doesn't lose a night's sleep thinking over the many facets included in decisions which involve risks or at times become so lost in thought that they wonder, " What am I doing in this room?" when they realize they don't remember why they came there. I also think that the love Julia shares for the people of Acre and her land is inspiring. However, her ambitious plans to give back to the people do not manifest as she is greatly limited, because Julia is a woman in her time. When you combine the EVIL antics of Julia's brother/cousin Richard with Julia's upbringing to be a lady and her love and loyalty to her mother into the scenario, the reader should not be surprised at Julia's lack of ability to bring her dreams to fruition.

This story is spun with mysterious sightings and dreams. "The Favored Child" takes its reader to life's heights and depths.
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