- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1558 KB
- Print Length: 306 pages
- Publisher: Old Salt Press LLC; 1 edition (1 Nov. 2016)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01M3Y525Z
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #163,280 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Britannia's Amazon: The Dawlish Chronicles Volume 5 April - August 1882 Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The use of real-life characters is often poorly done in novels, but in this case - and knowing something about the real 'Napoleon of Crime' - it felt right and did not feel contrived.
The book also contains a short story about Nicholas Dawlish's early life which explains why he joined the Royal Navy. In my opinion this addendum alone was worth the cost of the book as it filled in some vital information that lovers of the 'Dawlish Chronicles' would have found informative.
However, Nicholas is present in spirit continually, as an anchor of reliable morality and a person who ultimately will approve or disapprove of Florence's actions. She feels at times that she is treading very close to the boundaries of his approval, and ultimately has to decide for herself how to resolve the ethical dilemma. By the standards of the age, it becomes a matter of finding the least bad option rather than an unequivocally good one. I am sure that most modern readers will agree with her choice.
I really enjoyed this book. Florence is a great character - resourceful, determined, and not afraid to challenge injustice. Her social background means that she constantly has to contend with prejudice, and she does so very effectively. One of my few regrets about the earlier Dawlish books is that she is sometimes relegated to a few pages at the start, before being left behind on the dockside like so many other navy wives have been. Here, she gets a whole book! Not only that, but it is fascinating to explore what might be called the home front - the country that Nicholas is constantly risking his life for. Its institutions are far from perfect, but the efforts of individuals like Florence are making the risk worthwhile.Read more ›
Many supporting characters from previous books make an appearance here and it is good to see them get a further outing. Vanner fleshes them all out into three dimensional individuals. Too many authors allow their supporting characters to become pastiches or caricatures. Not so Vanner who creates people you are desperate to meet and know.
A special shout out to the short story Britannia's Eye which is included with this book. It tells another part of the Dawlish story and delves into his relationship with his uncle, his sponsor in the Navy. Is he a retired man facing his own mortality or is he something very much more interesting indeed...?
I hope that Vanner will continue to explore the lives of Florence and other supporting characters as distinct from Dawlish (although more Dawlish too please!).
In summary an excellent addition to the Dawlish histories.
Striving to transcend her humble beginnings, yet determined to keep contact with her family despite the almost ironclad social structure of Victorian times, Florence is a deeply sympathetic heroine. She is deeply in love with Nicholas, her naval officer husband, and he with her, and although a more modern idea, they are a team; she will do anything not to hinder or damage his career, he is determined to protect her from any slights or snubs due to her early life as a paid servant.
So when Florence is appalled, angry and then motivated to investigate a particularly nasty exploitation that lies beneath a pleasant façade of Victorian life, she is anxious that it doesn’t impact on her husband’s prospects. Of course, these two things soon come into conflict…
This is a story that does not pull punches; the research into misery, hypocrisy, yet bravery and high moral intent that characterises the Victorian period lays these bare. But the story is about a tough lady full of integrity, but no “goody two shoes” but one who does become anxious, worried, unsure of herself and her actions, yet persists.
The author cleverly guides us through the plot, opening up the the environment, informing us but never preaching. Florence and her friends Agatha and Mabel are a fearsome bunch, but so very human. Highly recommended.
And if you’re a follower of The Dawlish Chronicles, the additional story at the end, “Eye” gives us a bonus - a peek into the early life of Nicholas Dawlish. It solved one mystery for me…
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was a bold move for an author of derring-do (albeit of the more sophisticated sort) not only to relegate his hero to the distant sidelines but also to explore the murky... Read morePublished 1 month ago by M J Pearse
This book has received a Discovering Diamonds Review:
'This is a story that does not pull punches; the research into misery, hypocrisy, yet bravery and high moral intent that... Read more
My initial reaction that this story was not about our Victorian naval hero Dawlish but his wife was one of disappointment. How wrong could I be. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ian K. Todd
I am new to Mr Vanner's Dawlish Chronicles, this being the first I have read. The story focuses upon Florence, wife of Nicholas Dawlish, but socially beneath him. Read morePublished 4 months ago by sagababe
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