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The Flight of the Black Swan: A Bawdy Novella [Paperback]

Jean Roberta

Price: 10.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

28 Jan 2013
Imagine an upper class English girl kidnapped by pirates when she was eleven, and eventually returned to her family. If this sounds familiar, you've probably either read the classic book A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes, or seen the movie. Whatever you may imagine, Jean Roberta has taken the grown-up Emily far beyond your--or the younger Emily's--wildest speculations. This is, indeed, a "Bawdy Novella," but there is more to it than that. Emily is a smart, spirited heroine, adventurous enough to see the bright side of the unspoken (and unfounded) assumption that she must be "damaged goods." When her romantic affair at a girls' school is abruptly ended because of her lover's cowardice, Emily tosses off the constraints of 19th century English society and returns to the sea on a more-or-less pirate ship, the Black Swan, manned by gay fugitives from the British Navy.

Product details

  • Paperback: 142 pages
  • Publisher: Lethe Press (28 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159021417X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590214176
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 0.8 cm

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bawdy Historical Adventures on the High Seas 29 July 2013
By Rachel Kramer Bussel - Published on Amazon.com
The Flight of the Swan, set in England and at sea during the time of the U.S. Civil War, more than lives up to the "bawdy" promise in its title. This is a story constantly in motion, as Emily learns about young love and lesbian sex, only to be parted from her Lucy very early on. She winds up on the Black Swan, a ship full of men who, due to their homosexuality, wouldn't be welcome in the official English Navy ships. There is plenty of subterfuge and secrets that are slowly revealed, and Roberta slyly lets the reader in on both the jokes and the true emotion behind some of these secrets, which include cross-dressing. There is plenty of drama, love scenes and adventure as the ship's crew fight to save themselves and battle for the cause of ending slavery, though their own thoughts on the topic are brought into relief when they encounter a former slave, Mary Ann.

Emily proves quickly able to catch up with what would surely prove shocking to many women of her time, and the scenes where she discovers something new about her own sexuality or the perversions amongst her shipmates are some of the best. This is a fun historical novella that zips along, mocking both social customs of the time and any stuffiness this eccentric crew encounters. Emily manages to fashion a life that's outwardly traditional while being true to herself, and the ways she and the others balance that delicate line of what society expects of them and what they know in their hearts takes this story beyond bawdy. The sexual adventures and discoveries, as well as Emily's take-charge attitude, which is employed throughout the story, make this a feel-good story where those willing to take risks outsmart the stodgy mores of their time.
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