The Road to Peterloo

Jacqueline Everett
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Genre: Historical Fiction. Format: Multiple. Views: This Week 43, Total 117.

The author has indicated that this book is not suitable for children and young adults.

What price loyalty? What price betrayal?

August 16th 1819. Fifteen killed and more than six hundred injured on the streets of Manchester.

Thomas Cowper, a serjeant in the British army of occupation in France, is traumatised by the Battle of Waterloo. As he tries to rebuild his life, he is hounded by his old adversary, intent on revenge.

Two years later, Thomas and the rest of his Regiment return to a Britain bitterly divided, where the Peace has rewarded the few but penalised the many. In the North, old friends from the Regiment are drawn into the mass meetings of democratic protest, whilst in London Thomas becomes caught up in a dangerous world of plots and spies.

In this sequel to The Road to Waterloo, Everett has achieved the difficult task of writing a gripping historical novel which will appeal to readers of the earlier book but which also triumphantly stands alone. The action shifts to England and the personal fate of the characters is played out against growing civil unrest which climaxes in the Peterloo Massacre. Meticulously researched and written in a tense but clear and accessible way this novel illustrates superbly how ordinary people are caught up, sometimes tragically, in public events over which they have little control. The chapter in which the massacre itself is described through the eyes of a child is particularly impressive. I hope this novel reaches a wide audience as it is a real tour de force, like the very best historical novels, both firmly rooted in history yet with startling relevance to our own age. Carole Bromley
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