When civil war destroys the long years of peace in England, the clash between King and Parliament is echoed at Morland Place. Richard, the heir, brings home a Puritan bride, while his dashing brother Kit joins the Royalist cavalry under prince Rupert, leaving their father, Edmund, desperately trying to steer a middle course. As the war grinds on, bitterness replaces early fervour and divisions grow deeper, and through it all Edmund struggles grimly to protect his inheritance and keep Morland Place intact.
The Oak Apple starts a few years after the Princeling ends. The characters that ended the last book as children are now adults with children of their own. The master of Morland Place is Edmund Morland and the historical setting is the reign of Charles I and the fights between Parliament and King. A significant part of the book is devoted to the description of battles, although they are not usually my favourite reading subject Harrod-Eagles does a very good job with it and I was actually interested and horrified by what I was reading. There are no heroes or villains in this, just men who believe in different things and defending their ideas.
As in previous books the gap between generations widens due to different political sides. While Edmund is mostly worried with protecting his birthplace his son Richard marries a puritan and his second son and several cousins join the King's army. The political situation will take its toll on Edmund's marriage and the war effort will affect the whole family. I thought it interesting that there was the introduction of a puritan character but I think that sadly we only get to know the basics about Puritanism. I at least was curious to know more.