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The Children of the New Forest

Frederick Marryat

Book Overview: 

The children of Colonel Beverley, a Cavalier officer killed at the Battle of Naseby are believed to have died in the flames when their house, Arnwood, is burned by Roundhead soldiers. However, they escape and are raised by Joseph Armitage, a gamekeeper in his cottage in the New Forest. The story describes how the children adapt from anaristocratic lifestyle to that of simple cottagers. The children are concealed as the grandchildren of Armitage.

Eventually after Armitage’s death, Edward Beverley leaves and works as a secretary for the sympathetic Puritan placed in charge of the Royal land in the New Forest. He then joins the army of the future King Charles II and after the Royalist defeat at the Battle of Worcester, he escapes to France and lives in exile until the Restoration.

His brother and siblings continue to live in the New Forest and they are reunited on the King’s return. (Summary from Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .No; I think I can manage. It’s the damp that hurts me so much. This frosty air will do me good, perhaps. I have been much better since the snow fell. Now, then, let us see what you have caught.”

“You will have to walk two miles,” said Humphrey, as they went out.

“I can manage it, Humphrey; so lead the way.”

Humphrey went on till they came close to a clump of large trees, and then brought them to a pit-fall which he had dug, about six feet wide and eight feet long, and nine feet deep.

“There’s my large trap,” said Humphrey, “and see what I have caught in it.”

They looked down into the pit and perceived a young bull in it. Smoker, who was with them, began to bark furiously at it.

“Now, what are we to do? I don’t think it is hurt. Can we get it out?” said Humphrey.

“No, not very well. If it was a calf we might; but it is too heavy; and if we wer. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This book tells the story of four children - Edward, Humphrey, Alice and Edith, whose distinguished father Colonel Beverley is killed during the English Civil War while fighting the cause of King Charles and as a result, they become orphaned. An old forester, Jacob Armitage, whilst walking in the...more

I started reading this book a year ago, but gave it up, it's a book you have to be in a certain mood to read... well for me anyway... but if you do find yourself putting it back on the bookshelf, remember to get it down one day when you're in need of something wholesome, historical but also excit...more

The title "Children" of the New Forest is a little misleading. I had only skipped the blurb before reading so I thought this book would be about four little kids playing in the New Forest. Well, it wasn't.
I really liked the novel anyway. It has a bit of everything in it: farming, adventure storie...more

Children of the New Forest is an old children’s story, originally published in 1847, that I never would have read had I not been trying to read all of the 1001 Children’s Books. It’s historical fiction, set back in the 17th century during the time of the English Civil War. It’s the story of the f...more

I loved everything about this book! I appreciate stories where characters persevere, err on the side of right and honor, and make choices based on the good of the whole rather than oneself...those are the true hero stories to me. Such a refreshing read!

It is strange when there is a connection found between dissimilar things in our everyday life. While I was reading this book by Frederick Marryat, I read on a plaque on my nightly rounds at the museum that the artist Thomas Chambers used Marryat's naval writings as an inspiration for some of his...more

When I first read this, I adored this and thought it was pretty much perfection. I read it over and over again, until the covers fell off my copy. I had that reaction to a lot of children's books, and I can't quite find the enchantment again in this one, which makes me sad. I decided to reread it...more

Gosh this book dragged. 4 children watch their house burn down in a revolution in the UK in the mid 1600s. They then go live in a forest. The daughters tend the house (aka are not related to the plot and thus get no writing dedicated to them) whilst the oldest son sets out to help his king and co...more

During the English Civil War, the four Beverley children are orphaned when their wealthy father is killed fighting for the restoration of King Charles. Their grand home is burnt down and they are supposed dead, so they find shelter with a kindly old forester. They each learn to hunt, harvest, and...more

To call this a children's book is somewhat misleading. Yes, it is about 4 children, but it is written in a style more suited to adult readers. It's still a good book. I would describe it more as a young adult, historical fiction novel. It's a bit of a history lesson about England in the mid 17th...more

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