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The Barbers: A Tale Most Curious and Rare by [Pym, Katherine]
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The Barbers: A Tale Most Curious and Rare Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Length: 398 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3282 KB
  • Print Length: 398 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Books We Love Ltd. (31 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00I6KOKL6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #534,270 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a well-researched story in which the Restoration of Charles II has long since passed, and with revenge already wreaked on those who dispatched his father (Charles I) to the scaffold, the king has set precedence (example to his subjects) to engage in a thoroughly debauched lifestyle. Thus dark passages at the Palace of Whitehall steam with scandal and intrigues, and the stench from the city’s streets and shouts of “Gardyloo” alongside that of the heroine’s functional if bizarre family, are far from mere background props to this tale of The Barbers. I admire the author for bravely putting forth with the grit and grime of London streets 1663, which adds authenticity to sense of time and place. The author has also dug deep into the medicinal properties of healing herbal potions and poisonous concoctions, which affords her heroine, Celia, to succeed in what is essentially a male domain of medicine and surgical procedures.

Although Celia is headstrong and dreams women (like her) will one day be admitted into the hallowed halls of the Royal Society of Surgeons, she could not, in her wildest dreams, have believed a chance encounter with a viscount would see her attending (in disguise) at a lecture given by Robert Hooke: an eminent scientist of his day. What transcends from that momentous occasion and her frequent visits to the Palace of Whitehall as a healer, leads on to romance and momentary untold wealth she fears will taint and destroy her peace of mind. Worse, a decision that will change her life forever becomes the greatest step she has ever had to face. Can she step across the social divide, or is it safer to remain in the darker realm of The Barbers.
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Format: Kindle Edition
During the 17th century, barbers were often also used as healers. In this story, Celia's father is the barber and Celia hones her skills as a healer. The story takes place in the aftermath of the execution of King Charles I, in the grimy streets of the seedier parts of London. I found this setting fascinating, especially because the author did not hesitate to bring out the crime and desperation.

The characters are wonderfully quirky and nicely developed and believable. Most remarkable was the amount of research the author conducted into the various herbs, tinctures, and practices (both good and evil) of the healing arts of the time. I liked how the heroine demonstrated the strength and courage to maneuver among the prejudices against women healers and surgeons. She dreams big - one day hoping to be accepted into the Royal Society of Surgeons. Her skill takes her from the streets of London into the Palace of Whitehall where her talents overcome her lower rank and allows her to hobnob with the nobility. It is there that she falls in love, but faces a life altering decision.

This is not the first novel by Katherine Pym that I have read, and it definitely won't be the last. Why? Because she is able to take historical details and with great accuracy, weaves them into a enjoyable read! Her characters tug at the heart, her scenery so real you feel transported. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
The author’s research is not only unique and detailed, it’s fascinating too in the way it describes life in the less salubrious parts of Restoration London.
Celia is an unusual character in that she is not happy to accept the rules and restrictions of the Barber’s Guild which is reluctant to admit women. Celia’s family is a mixture of zealots, loose women, lecherous men and innocent abandoned children which make up a colourful household behind their barber’s shop with forays into White Hall Palace and 'Shooting The Bridge'.
Celia gets drawn into the circle of Lord Deeping, a man she cannot imagine having any interest in her but the obvious, however he proves useful in allowing her into the hallowed halls of Gresham College and the lectures at the Royal Society in an age where education is fitful, women were regarded better for being kept ignorant, and scientific knowledge was lower than most modern ten-year-olds.
The author has written an interesting story with some lovely characters.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I read this book when it first came out and it was and is memorable. I was so impressed with how men and women struggled through that time, And a woman trying to place herself in a man's world was unheard of. This is a fascinating read and one you won't soon forget.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this. The setting is well described and I felt I was in old London. Yuk! The characters were clearly developed and sympathetic. A real page turner - I was sorry it ended.
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