The Children of the New Forest: A Brief Review

I recently read The Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat. It is a very nice piece of literature.

Set during the English Civil War (mid-17th century), the events unfold amidst the conflict between the Royalist Cavaliers and the Parliamentarian Roundheads. No, LeBron James doesn’t make an appearance for the Cavaliers. He was not alive in the 17th-century. “But Grant, people call him King James, and the King James Bible was published in the 17th-century LOL!!” Also, Yul Brenner does not make an appearance for the Roundheads.

Beautiful woodland in the New Forest. Photo courtesy:

Anyway, readers follow the plight of four children whose lives are uprooted due to their father’s unpopular loyalties. They nearly die when an angry opposition mob burns down their house, but, owing to Providence, they are saved and whisked away to live in the New Forest. There, they learn all kinds of lessons about surviving in the wild.

Forests aren’t just trees. Check out this beautiful vista from the New Forest. Photo courtesy:

The boys learn to hunt, trap, farm, and build things. The girls learn how to……cook. And keep house.

A book influenced by feminism this is not.

Deer in the New Forest. Photo courtesy:

This would be a good time for me to go ahead and say that, if thou art the kind of person that can’t handle Robinson Crusoe, Swiss Family Robinson, and various other stories written nearly two centuries ago (or well over two centuries ago) because they contain elements that may not comport with modern culture, then this book will probably drive thee crazy.

Is that heathland? I think it is! Photo courtesy:

However, for anyone who understands that old books might possibly contain old, unpopular cultural elements and can look past said cultural elements to enjoy the story; and, for anyone who enjoys exciting, living-in-the-wild types of works, this certainly delivers.

Those trees in the background are foreboding. Photo courtesy:

Of course, no book is flawless, and if I had to identify a negative it would be that the characters are fairly one-dimensional (they’re very archetypal). Thankfully, that doesn’t detract from the overall appeal.

Can I just go ahead and buy this pond? Photo courtesy:

As for the positives, the overall plot/theme is interesting, and the language is quite rich (it was published in 1847, so there is much verbiage not found in modern books). Also, the narrative has a nice flow that pulled me through the story easily. Not all books can do that, so that makes this one special.

Overall, if thou art a person who enjoys survival stories, rich old language, and smooth narratives, then thou wilt love this book.

NOTE: this book doesn’t feature the use of “thou” or “thee;” I just like to use those words because they’re correct.


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