THE PRINCE OF EDEN by Marilyn Harris

PUB. INFO: Putnam, 1978
GENRE: Historical Fiction
SETTING: England
SERIES: Eden, book 2

From Publisher:  Edward Eden, a noble and passionate man of the people pursued a course decreed by his bastard heritage.

Heir to the vast wealth but not the title of Lord Thomas Eden's estate, he rose to become the most splendid libertine in all London...and fell into the iron grip of a sinister addiction.

Dashing conqueror of hearts more, willing then wise, he drank freely, recklessly from the waters of passion...only to lose himself body and soul to the one woman whose intoxicating thirst he was -- and forbidden -- to quench.

Her world was forgotten, his destiny sealed, a dynasty dammed, in one silent hour of lose.

SPOILER SUMMARY: This is the second in the series. It begins about 36 years after the first book ended. Edward is about 42. He ends up getting addicted to laudanum in the novel. In the beginning of the book, Edward meets a girl at Newgate prison named Elizabeth. He'd go there to bring the inmates treats and stuff. Elizabeth is a teenager, I think, and helps Edward and his friend run a school for poor kids. Edward and Elizabeth are never together romantically.

Edwards younger bother James is not a bastard like Edward so James is to inherit the title and lands and all that. Harriet is to marry James and she and Edward begin an affair. She gets pregnant by Edward, no one but her parents and a nurse know. She's kept prisoner in her home until after the baby is born. It's born and given away.

Coincidentally, Edward and Elizabeth are at an inn and they see the baby, and they don't know it's actually Edward's and Harriet's, being branded with the word 'bastard' by some man so they kidnap it and Edward raises the boy as his own. I just checked my book and the son is named John. About 15 years later,  when John is 15, Edward dies in some accident with a piece of equipment and John goes to Eden to live with his father's relatives. Neither he nor Harriet know that he is her son. That's how that book ends. I think his mother Marianne, from the first book, dies in this one.

This series is pure fiction, not romance. This book was boring. But I know with book three this series will take a disturbing turn.

Here is the reading order for the series:

•This Other Eden
•The Prince of Eden
•The Eden Passion
•The Women of Eden
•Eden Rising
•American Eden
•Eden and Honor

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