Jeffrey Archer's Clifton Chronicles series

17 October 2016

The Clifton Chronicles is Jeffrey Archer’s no.1 bestselling series, bringing to life the key historical and political events of the 20th century over the course of one family’s story, with their triumphs and their tragedies.

In this thrilling episodic saga of love, loss, betrayal and ambition, you will be taken on an exhilarating journey from the back alleys of Bristol to the teeming streets of New York City and the Gulags of Stalinist Russia. Its memorable cast of characters has captured the imaginations of readers across the globe. Meet the Clifton family today and start your journey with Only Time Will Tell. The story continues in the subsequent novels: The Sins of the FatherBest Kept SecretBe Careful What You Wish ForMightier than the SwordCometh the Hour and concludes in the compelling final volume, This Was A Man.

Only Time Will Tell

The epic tale of Harry Clifton’s life begins in 1919, in the backstreets of Bristol. His father was a war hero, but it will be twenty-one tumultuous years before Harry discovers the truth about how his father really died and if, in fact, he even was his father...

Is he the son of Arthur clifton, a stevedore who worked in Bristol docks, or the first born son of a Scion of West Country society, whose family owns a shipping line?

Volume one of the Clifton Chronicles series takes us from the ravages of the Great War to the outbreak of the Second World War, when Harry must decide whether to take up a place at Oxford, or join the Navy and go to war with Hitler’s Germany.

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The Sins of the Father

New York, 1939. Tom Bradshaw is arrested for first degree murder. He stands accused of killing his brother. When Sefton Jelks, a top Manhattan lawyer, offers his services for nothing, penniless Tom has little choice but to accept his assurance of a lighter sentence. After Tom is tried, found guilty and sentenced, Jelks disappears, and the only way for him to prove his innocence would be to reveal his true identity - something that he has sworn never to do in order to protect the woman he loves.

Meanwhile, the young woman in question travels to New York, leaving their son behind in England, having decided she'll do whatever it takes to find the man she was to marry - unwilling to believe that he died at sea. The only proof she has is a letter. A letter that has remained unopened on a mantelpiece in Bristol for over a year.

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Best Kept Secret

1945. The vote in the House of Lords as to who should inherit the Barrington family fortune has ended in a tie. The Lord Chancellor's deciding vote will cast a long shadow on the lives of Harry Clifton and Giles Barrington.

Harry returns to America to promote his latest novel, while his beloved Emma goes in search of the little girl who was found abandoned in her father's office on the night he was killed.

When the General Election is called, Giles Barrington has to defend his seat in the House of Commons and is horrified to discover who the Conservatives select to stand against him. But it is Sebastian Clifton, Harry and Emma's son, who ultimately influences his uncle's fate.

In 1957, Sebastian wins a scholarship to Cambridge, and a new generation of the Clifton family march onto the page. After Sebastian is expelled from school, he unwittingly becomes caught up in an international art fraud involving a Rodin statue that is worth far more than the sum it raises at auction. Does he become a millionaire? Does he go to Cambridge? Is his life in danger?

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Be Careful What You Wish For

Be Careful What You Wish For, the fourth instalment in Jeffrey Archer's The Clifton Chronicles, opens with Harry Clifton and his wife Emma rushing to hospital to learn the fate of their son Sebastian, who has been involved in a fatal car accident. But who died, Sebastian or his best friend Bruno?

When Ross Buchanan is forced to resign as chairman of the Barrington Shipping Company, Emma Clifton wants to replace him. But Don Pedro Martinez intends to install his puppet, the egregious Major Alex Fisher, in order to destroy the Barrington family firm just as the company plans to build its new luxury liner, the MV Buckingham.

Back in London, Harry and Emma's adopted daughter wins a scholarship to the Slade Academy of Art where she falls in love with a fellow student, Clive Bingham, who asks her to marry him. Both families are delighted until Priscilla Bingham, Jessica's future mother-in-law, has a visit from an old friend, Lady Virginia Fenwick, who drops her particular brand of poison into the wedding chalice.

Then, without warning, Cedric Hardcastle, a bluff Yorkshireman who no one has come across before, takes his place on the board of Barringtons. This causes an upheaval that none of them could have anticipated, and will change the lives of every member of the Clifton and Barrington families. Hardcastle's first decision is who to support to become the next chairman of the board: Emma Clifton or Major Alex Fisher? And with that decision, the story takes yet another twist that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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Mightier than the Sword

When Harry Clifton visits his publisher in New York, he learns that he has been elected as the new president of English PEN, and immediately launches a campaign for the release of a fellow author, Anatoly Babakov, who's imprisoned in Siberia. Babakov's crime? Writing a book called Uncle Joe, a devastating insight into what it was like to work for Stalin. So determined is Harry to see Babakov released and the book published, that he puts his own life in danger.

His wife Emma, chairman of Barrington Shipping, is facing the repercussions of the IRA attack on the Buckingham. Some board members feel she should resign, and Lady Virginia Fenwick will stop at nothing to cause Emma's downfall.

Sir Giles Barrington is now a minister of the Crown, and looks set for even higher office, until an official trip to Berlin does not end as a diplomatic success. Once again, Giles's political career is thrown off balance by none other than his old adversary, Major Alex Fisher, who once again stands against him at the election. But who wins this time?

In London, Harry and Emma's son, Sebastian, is quickly making a name for himself at Farthing's Bank in London, and has proposed to the beautiful young American, Samantha. But the despicable Adrian Sloane, a man interested only in his own advancement and the ruin of Sebastian, will stop at nothing to remove his rival.

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Cometh the Hour

Giles must decide if he should withdraw from politics and try to rescue Karin, the woman he loves, from behind the Iron Curtain. But is Karin truly in love with him, or is she a spy?

Lady Virginia is facing bankruptcy, and can see no way out of her financial problems, until she is introduced to the hapless Cyrus T. Grant III from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who's in England to see his horse run at Royal Ascot.

Sebastian Clifton is now the Chief Executive of Farthings Bank and a workaholic, whose personal life is thrown into disarray when he falls for Priya, a beautiful Indian girl. But her parents have already chosen the man she is going to marry. Meanwhile, Sebastian's rivals Adrian Sloane and Desmond Mellor are still plotting to bring him and his chairman Hakim Bishara down, so they can take over Farthings.

Harry Clifton remains determined to get Anatoly Babakov released from a gulag in Siberia, following the international success of his acclaimed book, Uncle Joe. But then something unexpected happens that none of them could have anticipated.

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This Was A Man

This Was a Man opens with a shot being fired, but who pulled the trigger, and who lives and who dies?

In Whitehall, Giles Barrington discovers the truth about his wife Karin from the Cabinet Secretary. Is she a spy or a pawn in a larger game?

Harry Clifton sets out to write his magnum opus, while his wife Emma completes her ten years as Chairman of the Bristol Royal Infirmary, and receives an unexpected call from Margaret Thatcher offering her a job.

Sebastian Clifton becomes chairman of Farthings Kaufman bank, but only after Hakim Bishara has to resign for personal reasons. Sebastian and Samantha's talented daughter, Jessica, is expelled from the Slade School of Fine Art, but her aunt Grace comes to her rescue.

Meanwhile, Lady Virginia is about to flee the country to avoid her creditors when the Duchess of Hertford dies, and she sees another opportunity to clear her debts and finally trump the Cliftons and Barringtons.

In a devastating twist, tragedy engulfs the Clifton family when one of them receives a shocking diagnosis that will throw all their lives into turmoil.

start reading This was a man

Listen to audio extracts from the series

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