A Writers Writer – Jeffrey Archer – The Clifton Chronicles


“If you make a deal with a fool, don’t be surprised when they act foolishly.” – Jeffrey Archer, Only Time Will Tell

“The worst moment of any campaign is waiting for the sun to rise on the morning of the battle”
― Jeffrey Archer, Only Time Will Tell



In a twenty-four hour time period, I started and finished Jeffrey Archer’s first book in the Clifton Chronicles Only Time Will Tell. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down, It didn’t hurt that I was tucked up in bed trying to get over the ‘syndrome’ that Lewis Grizzard named….Elvis Presley is Dead, and I’m Not Feeling So Good Myself.  As a reader, you know how great it is to find an author like Archer who writes books for the likes of me. Well controlled, I enjoy a story with many characters that I quickly came to care about, with changing points of view, additional historical background, and of course, great writing. This is a family saga that begins with Harry Clifton as a young boy, surrounded by a group of adults together with a mother, who is willing to sacrifice for her bright son, they see that he receives a proper English education. If your reaction is…nothing original here, keep reading!

It was what I found on Wikipedia about the author, Jeffrey Howard Archer, that was like discovering the Archer Chronicles. I don’t want to give the book away or tell too much about the questionable life of Jeffrey Archer, but it will make you shake your head. Here are some bullet points. +Member of Parliament (1969–1974), but did not seek re-election after a financial scandal that left him almost bankrupt. +After a revival of his fortunes from the royalties of his best-selling novels, he became deputy chairman of the Conservative Party (1985–1986) before resigning after another scandal, which would lead to the end of his career in elected office. + He was made a life peer in 1992. +His political career ended with his conviction and subsequent imprisonment (2001–2003) for perjury and perverting the course of justice, which followed his second resignation. These are only a few of the misdeeds during Archer’s life, yet, his writing career touts 330 million copies sold worldwide….give or take.

There was one piece of information on Wikipedia that I found amazing because it involved Rupert Brooke, who is important to me. In 1979 the Archers (who don’t exactly have a traditional marriage)  purchased the Old Vicarage, Grantchester, a house associated with the poet Rupert Brooke.  (“There is no wind and no sun, only a sort of warm haze, and through it the mingled country sounds of a bee, a mowing machine, a mill and a sparrow. Peace! -Rupert Brooke) Every summer, they host a lavish garden party in the grounds of the Old Vicarage to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Archer’s life may be stranger than fiction, but it has informed a remarkable literary career.

Clifton Chronicles
• Only Time Will Tell (2011)
• The Sins of the Father (2012)
• Best Kept Secret (2013)
• Be Careful What You Wish For (2014)
• Mightier Than the Sword (2015)
• Cometh The Hour (2016)
• This Was a Man (2016)

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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