From a foggy London park to the streets of boom-time Melbourne; from the war-torn states of Southern China, to the overwhelming sights and sounds of the Victorian goldfields, this is a thrilling historical adventure set against the backdrop of the Eureka Stockade.
A fast-paced, action-packed historical adventure.
London 1852: Following a disastrous duel, John Farrington has lost everything – his army commission, his reputation, and the love of his life. When he becomes the target of a powerful, vengeful family he is forced to run, boarding a ship bound for Australia.
Hong Kong 1853: Master Feng, operatic impresario accused of treason, flees with his star performer, 'The Emperor’s Nightingale'. Fate places them aboard a Yankee clipper ship to the great continent in the south.
Melbourne 1853: From humble beginnings, Cate Shearley is determined to make a prosperous life for herself and her son Jack, and has built up an enviable business as proprietor of the Golden Sheaf Hotel and Shearley’s Variety Theatre. When her shows have the crowds flocking in, Cate realises there is even more money to be made entertaining the gold-rich miners of Ballarat.
But as Shearley’s Travelling Variety Show sets off for the goldfields, two in the troupe have ruthless enemies in pursuit. And their world will explode at the Eureka diggings, where the fuse of revolution has already been lit . . .
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July 3, 2017
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Carrick House, London, April 1853
‘Spring is by far the most beautiful time of year. Would you agree, Captain?’
‘I would indeed, Nurse Chalmers,’ John Farrington called. He didn’t bother turning in his chair to greet her. He could hear the clip of her highly polished black brogues approaching as he sat on the wooden verandah outside his room. Nurse Chalmers arrived each morning at precisely nine o’clock and invariably remarked on the state of the weather. The banter that always ensued had become their standing joke. ‘As I’m being discharged from your care today, I would say today is probably one of the most beautiful days of the year. Would you agree, Nurse Chalmers?’
‘I would indeed, Captain Farrington,’ she replied with a smile. ‘In fact, because your convalescence here at Carrick House is complete and you’re being discharged from my care, I would go so far as to say it is the most beautiful day of the year. Gainsay me not, sir.’
Also by Bruce Venables