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The Legacy of Hartlepool Hall [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Paul Torday
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Book Description

10 Nov 2011
Ed Hartlepool has been living in self-imposed exile for five years, but with a settlement regarding his inheritance looming, he must return to his ancestral seat, Hartlepool Hall. On his return, he discovers that his father has left him, along with the house, a seven million pound tax bill, two massive overdrafts, an 80-year-old butler, and a vast country estate that is creaking at the seams. Not only that, but there is a strange woman in residence at Hartlepool Hall who seems to have made herself very much at home. It turns out that 'Lady Alice' was his father's first mistress and she tells him more about his father than he ever discovered during his life. With the debts mounting, it seems that Ed's only recourse is to turn to his friend Annabel's new boyfriend, a property developer who plans to turn Hartlepool Hall into luxury flats and a golf course. But can Ed save his inheritance without such a drastic move and thereby preserve a way of life that has been in his family for generations? And is Lady Alice really the person she claims to be?

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Orion (10 Nov 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 140914206X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409142065
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 13.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Paul Torday was born in 1946 and read English Literature at Pembroke College, Oxford. He spent the next 30 years working in engineering and in industry, after which he scaled back his business responsibilities to fulfil a long-harboured ambition - to write.

He burst on to the literary scene in 2006 with his first novel, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, an immediate bestseller that has been sold in 19 countries.

He is married with two sons by a previous marriage and has two stepsons and lives close to the River North Tyne.

Product Description


A black comedy of manners and a poignant social commentary. (THE GOOD BOOK GUIDE) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Paul Torday's best book since SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN. Unabridged edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Light, easy reading but insubstantial 19 Jan 2012
Paul Today has a light easy-to-read writing style which is peppered through with light humourous touches.
Here the story of Ed Hartlepool, who appears in 'The Irresistable Inheritance of Wilberforce', is told following his return to England from his villa in the South of France as he realises his finances are in a parlous state and Hartlepool Hall, his family seat, in danger of repossession. Ed has to deal with an unknown visitor, one Lady Alice Birtley, his old friend Annabel and property developer boyfriend Geoff Tarset, and others who have designs on Hartlepool Hall and making as much of Ed's dire finances as they can.
It is a bittersweet tale of the perils of neglecting one's assets and living off the fruits of the labour of previous generations, as well as social changes that have accompanied the demise of many of the historically wealthy English land-owners. However, somehow Ed still seems to achieve a greater happiness at the end of the book.
Light-hearted and amusing in places, but not one of Torday's better books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good one... 13 Jan 2012
I have very much enjoyed all of Paul Torday's previous novels and this was another good one.
Torday's style of writing is very intersting and I always enjoy the characters he builds. This is another book based around upper class folk in situations fairly detatched from reality!
Unlike other reviewers, I enjoy Torday's exageration and interesting take on the world. He left a few ends un-tied in this book but that has been the case in previous ones.
I have given 4 stars rather than 5 because i did not feel it was quite up to the standards of 'Salmon Fishing' and 'Irresistable Inheritance of Wilberforce'. I think it was just lacking a bit of the mystery and twists he has produced before.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable 27 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having enjoyed a novella by this author previously, I found this tale equally as good. There were one or two shocks along they way, but the underlying themes are greed, sloth, a bullying parent, unloved children and the realisation that money isn't everything. As long as you're content with life, material things are just an added bonus. The characterisation of the individuals in and around the "upper classes" is fab, and at times very funny.

I would highly recommend the book. It's an easy story to get into and once you're in there, you will be hooked. I am definitely looking out for another book by Paul Torday which I think is a sure sign of how much I loved it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story 12 Sep 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Legacy of Hartlepool Hall tells the story of Ed Hartlepool and his (stately) home. When his father died and left the vast estate to Ed five years ago, Ed retreated to France to bury his head in the sand and avoid facing the massive tax bill and all the other problems associated with owning such an estate in modern times. When he has to come back he realises the scale of the mess he is in.

I really enjoyed this book. My only other experience of Paul Torday was Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, which I didn't enjoy at all, but this book was easy to read, humerous and a pleasure all round. I think the author has a light-hearted style which is a little quirky and whimsical. In a way I find myself wondering why I liked this book so much as the story doesn't go anywhere and there isn't that much depth to the characterisations, but I just found it to be a book that I looked forward to reading, and what more can you ask for?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Darkness and intrigue 19 Feb 2012
By Gaily H
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Paul Torday returns to a familiar theme of the useless upper class: those who inherited money but live a shiftless, meaningless existence. Sometimes it's as if the same individuals are floating through Today's novels - in this one it is a character named Eck who isn't part of the action, but was, I'm sure, in The Inheritance of Wilberforce.

Ed Hartlepool has spent years in France as a non dom, not opening letters or emails from home and failing to see that his stately pile Hartlepool Hall is close to financial ruin. He faces the news when he returns, and struggles to comprehend how he can turn the situation round when he has never worked in his life. He also returns to find a mysterious elderly lady - Lady Alice - staying at the hall. No-one seems to know who she is. Meanwhile an old friend of Ed's, Annabel, is struggling with the demands of her unpleasant father, and wanting to escape by marrying either "new money" Geoff or old money Ed.

As with all Torday novels, there are allegories being drawn and themes presented which trouble the mind for days afterwards. In the case of Hartlepool Hall, should we just raze buildings like this to the ground? Follies which were created because of the wealth and arrogance of a family a few hundred years ago, and now all but meaningless, needing repairs and not substantial enough to be preserved as a historical archive.

I was also troubled by the motives of Annabel. Unlike Lady Alice, who turns out to have a modest background, Annabel has also spent a wasted life dreaming of her father's inheritance. Annabel discovers that it is dangerous to get all that you wish for. And in sharp focus to Annabel and Ed, we hear the sad story of one of the estate tenants, a man who eschews emotion and has an antidote to his life of misery which is hard work.

I found the novel so engrossing I had to read it in two sessions.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Strangely moving and heartwarming
As ever in Paul's books you can empathise with the main characters straight away and get sucked into their lives and problems. Read more
Published 2 months ago by BALEX
5.0 out of 5 stars Legacy of Hartlepool Hall Review
Interweaving zany plot and great characterisation this novel didn't disappoint. Another gripper from Paul Torday! Going to buy the next one on my Kindle.
Published 2 months ago by Susan Wagstaff
1.0 out of 5 stars Who cares? Not me.
What can I say? I didn't enjoy it at all. I don't know what I expected but for me it was just a group of unlikeable characters feeling sorry for themselves. Read more
Published 2 months ago by MISS HAVISHAM READ IT
4.0 out of 5 stars Legacies are not what you think
As usual, Paul Torday twists his reader around his finger as the timeline moves forward.
I've said enough, now read it yourself!
Published 3 months ago by mrs p m ellison
5.0 out of 5 stars Hartlepool Hall
Enjoyed Paul Torday's book very much. Look forward to reading more of his books. I have already read about four of them.
Published 5 months ago by Sally Nathan burt
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Auther
Just love his work. Keep them coming. I would rate his previous books better but still enjoyed this. It would be best not to read out of order.
Published 11 months ago by Mr. James A. Schofield
4.0 out of 5 stars Legacy of Hartlepool Hall
Ideal for a holiday or easy read. I found I could not put down this book down until it was completed. However, the plot is predictable.
Published 11 months ago by Aggi
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tale
Excellent tale reeled you in from page one . Can't wait. To read another Friday such soft full characters perfectly fitted in their time the house was great to
Published 11 months ago by Patricia A adshead
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for a ladies book club
Torday is a local author and whilst this does not come up to the standard of "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" it is still an entertaining read.
Published 13 months ago by J H S Marris
3.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant, light read
I spotted this book when on holiday in Singapore, and since I come from Hartlepool I bought (the e-book version) and read it. Read more
Published 17 months ago by ROSS Nigel John
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