28 January 2017

Nautical Week: BRITANNIA'S AMAZON by Antoine Vanner

The Dawlish Chronicles Volume 5 : April - August 1882


Amazon UK £2.86 / £8.99
Amazon US $3.57 $12.50
Amazon CA $ n.a / $16.75

Nautical / Saga / Series
Victorian / 1800s
The Dawlish Chronicles Series

Antoine Vanner’s latest ‘Britannia’ in the Dawlish Chronicles focuses on Florence Dawlish whom we first met in Britannia’s Wolf when she was Florence Morton (no relation, but I wish she was!). Florence is no kick-ass action heroine – a highly transgressive idea for the Victorian era – but in her persistence, high moral courage and straightforward courage, she can rival them.

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 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, 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 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…

©Alison Morton Discovering Diamonds

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Helen