New York Times–bestselling author Taylor Caldwell’s debut novel sweeps from 1837 to the eve of World War I, following two families who grow a small munitions factory into a global empire.
In 1837, Joseph Barbour, an upper servant in an English village, immigrates with his family to America so he can make his fortune in the nascent artillery business. A man of vision, Joseph foresees a time when wars will not be won with courage and brave hearts but rather by the nations with superior firearms.
Joseph and his family settle in a rural Pennsylvania village, but his wife, Hilda, is unhappy and longs to return to England. Their shy and sensitive younger son, Martin, is also homesick, but what troubles him most is the cruelty and violence he sees in his older brother, Ernest. Martin’s fears come to fruition when Joseph forms a gunpowder firm with Armand Bouchard, who lives with his wife and three sons down the road from the Barbours.
As the years pass, Ernest proves himself invaluable to Barbour & Bouchard. Ruthless and ambitious, he takes what he wants. But beautiful Amy Drumhill continues to elude him and becomes the catalyst in a war that will estrange the two brothers and leave Ernest haunted by the blood that will be forever on his hands.
Dynasty of Death is a moving saga of two families, the epic struggle between two brothers, and the legacy their guns will leave the world as mighty enemy nations gear up for battle.
“A magnificent story . . . Powerful and moving.” —Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Taylor Caldwell
“Taylor Caldwell spins a yarn with force. . . . Her sense of timing and her ability to keep even the most alert reader guessing is something readers don’t find very often.” —Hartford Courant
“Taylor Caldwell never falters when it comes to storytelling.” —Publishers Weekly
Taylor Caldwell (1900–1985) was one of the most prolific and widely read authors of the twentieth century. Born Janet Miriam Holland Taylor Caldwell in Manchester, England, she moved with her family to Buffalo, New York, in 1907. She started writing stories when she was eight years old and completed her first novel when she was twelve. Married at age eighteen, Caldwell worked as a stenographer and court reporter to help support her family and took college courses at night, earning a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Buffalo in 1931. She adopted the pen name Taylor Caldwell because legendary editor Maxwell Perkins thought her debut novel, Dynasty of Death (1938), would be better received if readers assumed it were written by a man. In a career that spanned five decades, Caldwell published forty novels, many of which were New York Times bestsellers. Her best-known works include the historical sagas The Sound of Thunder (1957), Testimony of Two Men (1968), Captains and the Kings (1972), and Ceremony of the Innocent (1976), and the spiritually themed novels The Listener (1960) and No One Hears But Him (1966). Dear and Glorious Physician (1958), a portrayal of the life of St. Luke, and Great Lion of God (1970), about the life of St. Paul, are among the bestselling religious novels of all time. Caldwell’s last novel, Answer as a Man (1981), hit the New York Times bestseller list before its official publication date. She died at her home in Greenwich, Connecticut, in 1985.
To read more about the life and work of Taylor Caldwell, please visit www.taylorcaldwell.com.