Simon and Schuster publishers, New York; hardbound with blue boards and silver lettering on spine; very nice copy with strong binding and clean pages; dust jacket very good condition; see pics.
Susan Howatch (born 14 July 1940) is a British author. Her writing career has been distinguished by family saga-type novels which describe the lives of related characters for long periods of time. Her later books have also become known for their religious and philosophical themes.
Her first novel was The Dark Shore (1965). She published several other "gothic" novels before she published the first of her family sagas Penmarric (1971), which details the fortunes and disputes of the Penmar family in Cornwall during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. An important theme of the story is how the mansion of Penmarric becomes controlled by various branches of the family. The family fortune was made in the Cornish tin mining industry, which is discussed throughout each one of the six parts, each with a different character as narrator. As is made clear by the chapter headings, the fortunes of the family closely parallel the Plantagenet family, including Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, with the mansion representing the throne.
Howatch wrote the novel at her kitchen table in New Jersey. Publisher Michael Korda wrote, "It is a frequently stated basic belief of book publishing that somewhere in the country at any given moment some unknown woman is writing a major best-seller (usually referred to as 'the next Gone with the Wind') at her kitchen table while looking after her baby, but this was the first time I had experienced the phenomenom in real life. Susan Howatch had written her massive novel with one hand on the cradle and the other doing the typing, but, like most authors who succeed, she had never doubted that her book would be a bestseller." When reading the drafts, Korda noticed the similarities with the Plantagenets, and he asked Howatch if that was the case, she replied that Shakespeare had borrowed most of his plots from somebody else and did he think anyone would notice?