Twitter users might not be so ready with their tweets had they risked the drastic punishments meted out to pamphlet publishers in the 1640s.
Here is gossip for the nation, while in Farnham, Surrey, gossip fuels rivalries and domestic conflicts. And into this arrives Charity, an unwilling newcomer. Who, the gossips ask, is she? Why has she come? Which young man is she attracting? What will her choices be?
EXTRACT FROM THE BOOK!
Martha ran through the farm kitchen and out to the yard crying ‘Walter!’ too fast to hear her mother’s habitual ‘That man!’ She was out, pulling Walter off his horse, smothering him with kisses.
‘Congratulate me!’ he said. ‘It’s all arranged!’
Momentarily she pulled back from him. ‘We’re to go?’
‘Not you, my sweetheart.’ He put his arm around her and drew her towards the farm house. Her formidable mother almost barred the way in. ‘Well?’ she said. Her husband hesitated behind her.
‘Indentured servant,’ Walter said. ‘He pays the passage, I serve him for a few years, and after that who knows what will come my way!’
‘Work for who? Where?’ breathlessly.
‘My friend, the Vicar’s son, got employment there already.’
‘Why, the New World. I told you. Massachusetts. Over the ocean.’
Suddenly the room was filled with silence. The farmer broke the silence. ‘You’re taking my daughter over that dreadful sea?’ he asked.
‘No no, I’ll not take her at first. Not with child. A pioneering life. Settlers have died. No, I’ll send for her later on.’
‘So what is so special about Massachusetts?’
‘Freedom!’ Walter flung out his arms. ‘Laws they make for themselves, no dominating church, think what you will, say what you like. Freedom!’
‘You always say and do what you like.’ His mother-in-law’s tone was bitter. ‘And she’s the same, her nose into everything. Indentured servant indeed! You’re not one to serve anyone.’
‘I’m not afraid of work,’ Walter protested. ‘I’m to be his general factotum. It’s all arranged. I’m off to Southampton tomorrow to await the ship.’
Comely Grace – the prequel to Charity’s Choice, is currently offered at £8.20 including P&P
Comely Grace is a historical novel centred around 1642-4
Although Kings and courtiers make headlines, ordinary people have no less intricate lives. Here fear, control, and divergent loyalties are at work within a tanner’s family. Contending for power in their own domestic lives, they find themselves powerless in the face of civil war when troops pour into their very homes and threaten Farnham, their hometown, itself.
Abigail grows from girl to woman through these times, contending with rivalries and death. She loves elusive horse dealer Ralph turned cavalryman for whom war changes from a boyish game to harsh reality. Bastard orphan Hal is a link between them along with Abigail’s brother Tom, a carter, who takes the narrative over southern England. The contemporary madrigal “Love me not for comely grace” is a continuing theme.
Copies of both books obtainable from firstname.lastname@example.org at £8.20 including packing and postage, payable by bank transfer to RBS, sort code 16-00-38, account Mrs AGN Crawford, 00129620.