Capturing superbly the hustle and bustle, flair and extravagance of late Eighteenth Century times in Englands renowned capital, The Diamond of Drury Lane
introduces its feisty heroine with an undeniably exciting first adventure. This is historical fiction for young readers at its best--authentic, exciting and fast-moving.
Cat Royal is a veritable institution at Mr Sheridans famous Drury Lane theatre of ye olde London Town, circa 1790. Adopted by the owner after being mysteriously abandoned as a baby on the steps of his infamous establishment, Cat has grown up backstage amidst the glamour of the bright lights, the exotic artistes, hammy actors, melodious musicians and riotous viewing public. The performers are her family, the stagehands her closest friends.
However, Cat is growing up and she is beginning to think about what she wants to do with her life. Those thoughts take an unexpected turn when she overhears a conversation about a diamond hidden somewhere in the theatre. Her adventures begin when she tries to find the treasure. Pedro, a gifted musician who is new to the company orchestra, ably assists her. Ever present too are the political ramifications of a mischievous satirical cartoonist called Captain Sparkler, who some suspect is a very important person nearby in disguise.
The narrative traverses London and takes in the rival street gangs of Covent Garden, boxing matches, theatre riots, spectacular stage productions and several moments of drama and intrigue. Cat is so likeable as a central character, that readers will soon be caught up in her journey. That journey may only be short geographically, but she learns lots about who she is and who her real friends are. Its great stuff. Look out for the sequel, Cat Among the Pigeons.
(Age 9 and over)--John McLay
"'These books will keep readers hooked until the end' Bookseller; 'Pacy...A most engaging read' Books for Keeps; 'An eminently satisfying and delightful read' Sunday Tribune; 'Hugely enjoyable romp of a tale' School Librarian; 'A colourful, action-packed story' Publishing News 'A highly enjoyable story full of adventure, likeable character and sharp, witty dialogue' Anti-slavery magazine. 'Rip-roaring saga...thoroughly entertaining...lively and absorbing' The Times Educational Supplement; 'This is rollicking historical fiction at its best, a great read' Sunday Express"
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