The Cazalet Chronicles books in order

The Elizabeth Jane Howard books about the Cazalet family have been much loved for generations. Here we list the Cazalet Chronicles books in order, so you can work your way through the family's tragedies and triumphs.

15/06/2021
2 minutes to read
The covers of the five Cazalet Chronicles books by Elizabeth Jane Howard, against a background of wildflowers

Elizabeth Jane Howard's much-loved Cazalet Chronicles books comprise an elegantly written Sussex family saga, taking the reader from the emotional impact of the Great War via heartaches, intrigue and air raids to the death of their beloved matriarch. As their way of life, dependent on servants and traditions, shifts into the modern world, the Cazalets too must change.

Here, we've curated the ultimate guide to the Cazalet Chronicles books in order, and share some of Elizabeth Jane Howard's beautiful standalone novels for those looking for what to read next.

The Light Years

by Elizabeth Jane Howard

Book cover for The Light Years

Book One

The Light Years is the first book in the bestselling Cazalet Chronicles series, and marks the beginning of an extraordinary family saga. Each summer, the Cazalet family – brothers Hugh, Edward and Rupert, sister Rachel and their parents – spend two wonderful months at their family home in the Sussex countryside. But the siblings are hiding heartaches and secrets that even the idyllic setting won’t let them forget. . . 

 Hugh is haunted by the ravages of the Great War, Edward is torn between his wife and his latest infidelity, and Rupert is in turmoil over his inability to please his demanding wife. Meanwhile, Rachel risks losing her only chance at happiness because of her unflinching loyalty to the family.

Marking Time

by Elizabeth Jane Howard

Book cover for Marking Time

Book Two

Home Place, Sussex, 1939. As the shadows of the Second World War roll in, banishing the sunlit days of childish games and trips to the coast, a new generation of Cazalets take up the family's story. Louise finds herself facing the harsh reality that her parents have their own lives with secrets, passions and yearnings. Clary, an aspiring writer, learns that her beloved father is now missing somewhere on the shores of France. And sensitive, imaginative Polly feels stuck – stuck without anything except her nightmares about the war.

Confusion

by Elizabeth Jane Howard

Book cover for Confusion

Book Three

It's 1942 and the dark days of war seem never-ending. Scattered across the still-peaceful Sussex countryside and air-raid-threatened London, the divided Cazalets begin to find the battle for survival echoing the confusion in their own lives. Headstrong, independent Louise surprises the whole family when she abandons her dreams of being an actress and instead makes a society marriage. Polly and Clary, now in their late teens, finally fulfill their ambition of living together in London. But the reality of the city is not quite what they imagined.

Casting Off

by Elizabeth Jane Howard

Book cover for Casting Off

Book Four

The Cazalet cousins are now in their twenties, trying to piece together their lives in the aftermath of the war. Louise is faced with her father's new mistress and her mother's grief at his betrayal, while suffering in a loveless marriage of her own. Clary is struggling to understand why her beloved father chose to stay in France long after it was safe to return to Britain, and both she and Polly are madly in love with much older men. Polly, Clary and Louise must face the truth about the adult world, while their fathers – Rupert, Hugh and Edward – must make choices that will decide their own, and the family's, future.

All Change

by Elizabeth Jane Howard

Book cover for All Change

Book Five

It is the 1950s and as the Duchy, the Cazalets’ beloved matriarch, dies, she takes with her the last remnants of a disappearing world – houses with servants, class, and tradition – in which the Cazalets have thrived. Louise, now divorced, becomes entangled in a painful affair, while Polly and Clary must balance marriage and motherhood with their own ideas and ambitions. Hugh and Edward, now in their sixties, are feeling ill-equipped for this modern world, while Villy, long abandoned by her husband, must at last learn to live independently. 


If you love the Cazalet Chronicle books, you might also like Elizabeth Jane Howard's standalone novels:

Green Shades

by Elizabeth Jane Howard

Book cover for Green Shades

Elizabeth Jane Howard, acclaimed author of the Cazalet Chronicles, once said that she would certainly have been a gardener had she not become a writer first. In Green Shades: An Anthology of Plants, Gardens and Gardeners, she brings together a diverse and fascinating selection of garden writing that spans the centuries, the seasons and the species. The contents are delightfully eclectic and wide-ranging, practical as well as lyrical – she pays homage to the great English landscape artists of the eighteenth century and to the great women gardeners such as Vita Sackville-West.

The Long View

by Elizabeth Jane Howard

Book cover for The Long View

In 1950s London, Antonia Fleming faces the prospect of a life lived alone. Her children are now adults; her husband Conrad, a domineering and emotionally complex man, is a stranger. As Antonia looks towards her future, the novel steadily moves backwards in time, tracing Antonia's relationship with Conrad to its beginning in the 1920s, through years of mistake and motherhood, dreams and war.

After Julius

by Elizabeth Jane Howard

Book cover for After Julius

It is twenty years since Julius died, but his last heroic action still affects the lives of the people he left behind. Emma, his youngest daughter, twenty-seven years old and afraid of men. Cressida, her sister, a war widow, blindly searching for love in her affairs with married men. Esme, Julius's widow, still attractive at fifty-eight, but aimlessly lost in the routine of her perfect home. Felix, Esme's old lover, who left her when Julius died and who is still plagued by guilt for his action. And Dan, an outsider.


Odd Girl Out

by Elizabeth Jane Howard

Book cover for Odd Girl Out

Anna and Edmund Cornhill have a happy marriage and a lovely home. They are content, complete, absorbed in their private idyll. Arabella, who comes to stay one lazy summer, is rich, rootless and amoral – and, as they find out, beautiful and loving. With her elegant prose the author traces the web of love and desire that entangles these three; but it is Arabella who finally loses out.