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Archive for February, 2014

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir George Baker
1 January 1722 – 15 June 1809

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George Baker

Sir George Baker was an English physician.

He was born in Modbury, Devon, the son of George Baker, vicar of Modbury,Devon and his wife Bridget Harris. He was educated at Eton and King’s College, Cambridge. In 1749 he went to Leyden University to study physic, becoming an MD in 1756. He was admitted to the Royal College of Physicians in 1756 and became a fellow in 1757.

He moved to Stamford, Lincolnshire to practice medicine but returned to London around 1761 to become very successful, being elected President of the Royal College of Physicians nine times between 1785 and 1795.

In a presentation to the Royal College of Physicians he postulated that “Devonshire colic”, a painful and occasionally fatal condition, was caused by lead poisoning from drinking cider. When lead was removed from the cider manufacturing process the problem disappeared. (DWW-That seems worthy of a great many pats on the back and a round of drinks every time the good doctor should enter a pub!)

He was appointed physician to the Queen’s household and then physician to King George III, attending the king during his periods of madness. He was created Baronet Baker of Loventor in Totnes, Devon on 26 August 1776.

He was a good classical scholar and fluent in Latin and Greek. He published a number of papers in Latin. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1762 and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He was also made an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and a foreign fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine of Paris.

He was buried at St. James’s church, Piccadilly, and on a plain mural tablet to the north of the Communion table records his death. He had married Jane Morris, daughter of Roger Morris and Elizabeth Jackson, in 1768 at St. James’s, Westminster. They had two children, of whom Sir Frederick inherited the baronetcy.

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Amid a cacophony of cranking sprockets and cogs, in chuffs of steam and soot, comes the expansion of classic literature into alternative Steampunk masterpieces.

Follow nine skilled authors as they lead old friends and new acquaintances through Jamaica, Singapore, Cape Town, Denmark, Paris, London, and Geneva on a phantasmagorical Steampunk World Tour.

Tropic of Cancer: Edward Rochester battles the elements and Bertha Mason to save his brother and his own soul.

Sense and Cyborgs: Privateer Margaret Dashwood makes port at Singapore to get her husband back on his feet.

Micawber and Copperfield (by David W. Wilkin): Commander Wilkins Micawber III of the RDC’s Golden Mary and Midshipman Daniel Copperfield create a legacy of loyalty in the Royal Dirigible Corps. Stationed in Southern Africa, just after the Zulu war, trouble is brewing for the Boers are not pleased that the British Empire has seen fit to annex their lands and put them under the yoke of their ‘protection.’ (From David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.)

Little Boiler Girl: Power has a price, and one city unwittingly demands an enslaved child pay it.

The Clockwork Ballet: At the Palais Garnier, the Phantom trips the light fantastic with Meg Giry, the prima ballerina of his mechanical troupe.

His Frozen Heart: Jacob Marley saves Ebenezer Scrooge from robbing his wife’s grave and selling his soul.

Our Man Fred: Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, and his fiancé, Mary, protect the Empire from mechanized malfeasance.

Lavenza, or the Modern Galatea: Victor Frankenstein’s bride discovers more than his horrific experiments on her wedding day.

Available in Trade Paperback ($14.99) and as a Digital eBook ($3.99)

You can find the Paperback at Amazon

The Kindle Version

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Be a First Reader
This last month we released Beggars Can’t Be Choosier BeggarsCover-2014-02-27-09-45.jpg which has found critical acclaim.
Regency Assembly Press’s next Regency project will be Caution’s Heir.

In this tale of the Regency, our hero is making ends meet and restoring the family fortunes at the card tables. Never overindulging the matter, but bringing in enough to live on.

His father, is aging and slightly ill staying in the Country. To the tables at the club comes a man who has just inherited all from his brother, a Marquess, including the title.

The new Marquess, not thinking that he would ever be so fortunate, he is ill prepared for this, and has been somewhat of a fool when it comes to wealth. He gambles all his estates, and all within.

Then flees to the former Colonies to reestablish himself and perhaps find a fortune, now that he has lost all. Forgetting that within his home is his only child, a daughter who was making plans to come out for the Season.

And now she, taking all the courage she can muster, arrives at the doorstep of the man who won all from her father.

This tale is in need of those who will be able to cast a critical eye, as RAP has sought you, our readers, input before. Should you be inclined to get an early copy and have a look for errors, omissions and aid in making this a solid read for others to enjoy, your efforts will be greatly appreciated.
I should note that I have found that not everyone who reads my style, hears my writers voice, likes the way I tell a story, while many others ‘get’ me. And they do enjoy my style and voice. Just as there are writers who I don’t like and can’t get past the first five pages of their material. As you read this post you may want to take that into account and look at some of the free samples of my writing that are available, or purchase a book first.
The mission is to check that the story is on the right path with plotting, with character development.
The job is to read the draft and provide criticism (you can be brutal like that character would never do that! or you forgot, they didn’t say things like that until forty years later.) Oops… If you see glaring word misuse Then/Than and can correct it that would be appreciated as well. And to do this in a timely manner.
What you get for this service. A signed copy of the book when released. Your name in the acknowledgements and should we start selling 1000+ copies of each book, real money. Anyone interested, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir Gerard Noel 2nd Baronet
17 July 1759-25 February 1838

Born Gerard Edwardes, the son of Gerard Edwardes of Welham Grove and Lady Jane Noel, daughter of Baptist Noel, 4th Earl of Gainsborough. His father was the illegitimate son of Lord Anne Hamilton, younger son of James Hamilton, 4th Duke of Hamilton. (DWW-Thus the Great-Grandson of a Duke) He was educated at Eton and St John’s College, Cambridge.

After finishing his education, Noel became partner in a Westminster banking house. He entered Parliament in 1784 as member for Maidstone. However, on the death of his cousin, Thomas Noel, MP for Rutland, he resigned so as to be elected for that county (where the Noels had regularly held one of the seats for centuries). He represented Rutland for well over forty years. Initially a supporter of Pitt the Younger, he was one of a group of MPs who in 1788 tried to form a third party independent of both Pitt and Charles James Fox; in later years, however, he was a consistent Tory.

In 1798 he inherited the estates of his uncle, Henry Noel, 6th Earl of Gainsborough (though not the peerage, which could not pass through the female line), and changed his surname to Noel. He served as High Sheriff of Rutland for 1812.

Noel married three times. His first marriage, in 1780, was to Diana Middleton (d. 1823), daughter of Captain Charles Middleton, the Comptroller of the Navy. The following year Middleton was created a baronet, with a special remainder to his new son-in-law should he have no sons of his own. Middleton later became First Lord of the Admiralty and was raised to a peerage as Lord Barham; he died in 1813 without male issue, and Noel consequently inherited his baronetcy, while Noel’s wife inherited the peerage. They had at least fifteen children:

  • Charles Noel Noel (1781–1866), MP, who succeeded to his father’s baronetcy and his mother’s barony, later created Earl of Gainsborough
  • Rev. Gerard Thomas Noel (1782–1851), a canon of Winchester
  • Major Horace Noel (1783–1807)
  • Henry Robert Noel(1784–1800)
  • William Middleton Noel (1789–1859), MP for Rutland 1838-1840
  • Captain Frederic Noel (1790–1833), a naval officer
  • Rev. Francis James Noel (1793–1854), Rector of Teston and Nettlestead in Kent
  • Berkeley Octavius Noel (1794–1841)
  • Rev. Leland Noel (1797–1870), Vicar of Exton
  • Baptist Wriothesley Noel (1799–1873)
  • Louisa Elizabeth Noel (d. 1816), who married William Hoare (d. 1819)
  • Emma Noel (d. 1873), who married Stafford O’Brien (d. 1864)
  • Charlotte Margaret Noel (d. 1869), who married (first, in 1813) Thomas Welman and (second, in 1839) Thomas Thompson
  • Augusta Julia Noel (d. 1833), who married Thomas Babington (d. 1871)
  • Juliana Hicks Noel (d. 1855), who married Rev. Samuel Phillips

His second marriage, in 1823, was to Harriett Gill (d. 1826), and his third, in 1831, to Isabella Evans. Both these marriages were childless.

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We’ll All Go A Trolling Not only do I write Regency and Romance, but I also have delved into Fantasy.

The Trolling series is the story of a man, Humphrey. We meet him as he has left youth and become a man with a man’s responsibilities.

We follow him in a series of stories that encompass the stages of life. We see him when he starts his family, when he has older sons and the father son dynamic is tested.

We see him when his children begin to marry and have children, and at the end of his life when those he has loved, and those who were his friends proceed him over the threshold into death.

All this while he serves a kingdom troubled by monsters. Troubles that he and his friends will learn to deal with and rectify. It is now available in a variety of formats.

For $2.99 you can get this fantasy adventure.

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King Humphrey, retired, has his 80th birthday approaching. An event that he is not looking forward to.

A milestone, of course, but he has found traveling to Torc, the capital of the Valley Kingdom of Torahn, a trial. He enjoys his life in the country, far enough from the center of power where his son Daniel now is King and rules.

Peaceful days sitting on the porch. Reading, writing, passing the time with his guardsmen, his wife, and the visits of his grandson who has moved into a manor very near.

Why go to Torc where he was to be honored, but would certainly have a fight with his son, the current king. The two were just never going to see eye to eye, and Humphrey, at the age of 80, was no longer so concerned with all that happened to others.

He was waiting for his audience with the Gods where all his friends had preceded him. It would be his time soon enough.

Yet, the kingdom wanted him to attend the celebrations, and there were to be many. So many feasts and fireworks he could not keep track, but the most important came at the end, when word was brought that the Trolls were attacking once more.

Now Humphrey would sit as regent for his son, who went off to fight the ancient enemy. Humphrey had ruled the kingdom before, so it should not have been overwhelming, but at eighty, even the little things could prove troublesome.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel
9 April 1806 – 15 September 1859

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Isambard Kingdom Brunel

The son of French civil engineer Sir Marc Isambard Brunel and Sophia Kingdom, Isambard Kingdom Brunel was born on 9 April 1806 in Britan Street, Portsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire, where his father was working on block-making machinery. The family moved to London in 1808 for his father’s work. Brunel had a happy childhood, despite the family’s constant money worries, with his father acting as his teacher during his early years. His father taught him drawing and observational techniques from the age of four and Brunel had learned Euclidean geometry by eight. During this time he also learned fluent French and the basic principles of engineering. He was encouraged to draw interesting buildings and identify any faults in their structure.

When Brunel was eight he was sent to Dr Morrell’s boarding school in Hove, where he learned the classics. His father was determined that Brunel should have access to the high-quality education he had enjoyed in his youth in France; accordingly, at the age of 14, the younger Brunel was enrolled first at the College of Caen in Normandy, then at Lycée Henri-Quatre in Paris.

When Brunel was 15, his father, who had accumulated debts of over £5,000, was sent to a debtors’ prison. After three months went by with no prospect of release, Marc let it be known that he was considering an offer from the Tsar of Russia. In August 1821, facing the prospect of losing a prominent engineer, the government relented and issued Marc £5,000 to clear his debts in exchange for his promise to remain in Britain.

When Brunel completed his studies at Henri-Quatre in 1822, his father had him presented as a candidate at the renowned engineering school École Polytechnique, but as a foreigner he was deemed ineligible for entry. Brunel subsequently studied under the prominent master clockmaker and horologist Abraham-Louis Breguet. In late 1822, having completed his apprenticeship, Brunel returned to England.

Brunel worked for several years as an assistant engineer on the project to create a tunnel under London’s River Thames, with tunnellers driving a horizontal shaft from one side of the river to the other under the most difficult and dangerous conditions. Brunel’s father, Marc, was the chief engineer, and the project was funded by the Thames Tunnel Company.

The composition of the riverbed at Rotherhithe was often little more than waterlogged sediment and loose gravel. An ingenious tunnelling shield designed by Marc Brunel helped protect workers from cave-ins, but two incidents of severe flooding halted work for long periods, killing several workers and badly injuring the younger Brunel. The latter incident, in 1828, killed the two most senior miners, and Brunel himself narrowly escaped death. He was seriously injured, and spent six months recuperating. The event stopped work on the tunnel for several years.

Brunel is perhaps best remembered for designing the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol. Spanning over 700 ft (210 m), and nominally 200 ft (61 m) above the River Avon, it had the longest span of any bridge in the world at the time of construction. Brunel submitted four designs to a committee headed by Thomas Telford, but Telford rejected all entries, proposing his own design instead. Vociferous opposition from the public forced the organising committee to hold a new competition, which was won by Brunel.

Work on the Clifton bridge started in 1831, but was suspended due to the Queen Square riots caused by the arrival of Sir Charles Wetherell in Clifton. The riots drove away investors, leaving no money for the project, and construction ceased.

Brunel did not live to see the bridge finished, although his colleagues and admirers at the Institution of Civil Engineers felt it would be a fitting memorial, and started to raise new funds and to amend the design. Work recommenced in 1862 and was completed in 1864, five years after Brunel’s death.

Brunel designed many bridges for his railway projects, including the Royal Albert Bridge spanning the River Tamar at Saltash near Plymouth, Somerset Bridge (an unusual laminated timber-framed bridge near Bridgwater), the Windsor Railway Bridge, and the Maidenhead Railway Bridge over the Thames in Berkshire. This last was the flattest, widest brick arch bridge in the world.

In 1845 Hungerford Bridge, a suspension footbridge across the Thames near Charing Cross Station in London, was opened. It was replaced by a new railway bridge in 1859, and the suspension chains were used to complete the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Brunel designed the Royal Albert Bridge in 1855 for the Cornwall Railway, after Parliament rejected his original plan for a train ferry across the Hamoaze—the estuary of the tidal Tamar, Tavy and Lynher. The bridge (of bowstring girder or tied arch construction) consists of two main spans of 455 ft, 100 ft above mean high spring tide, plus 17 much shorter approach spans. Opened by Prince Albert on 2 May 1859, it was completed in the year of Brunel’s death.

In the early part of Brunel’s life, the use of railways began to take off as a major means of transport for goods. This influenced Brunel’s involvement in railway engineering, including railway bridge engineering.

In 1833, before the Thames Tunnel was complete, Brunel was appointed chief engineer of the Great Western Railway, one of the wonders of Victorian Britain, running from London to Bristol and later Exeter. The company was founded at a public meeting in Bristol in 1833, and was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1835. It was Brunel’s vision that passengers would be able to purchase one ticket at London Paddington and travel from London to New York, changing from the Great Western Railway to the Great Western steamship at the terminus in Neyland, South Wales. He surveyed the entire length of the route between London and Bristol himself, with the help of many including his Solicitor Jeremiah Osborne of Bristol Law Firm Osborne Clarke who on one occasion rowed Isambard Kingdom Brunel down the River Avon himself to survey the bank of the river for the route.

Brunel made two controversial decisions: to use a broad gauge of 7 ft 1/4 in (2,140 mm) for the track, which he believed would offer superior running at high speeds; and to take a route that passed north of the Marlborough Downs—an area with no significant towns, though it offered potential connections to Oxford and Gloucester—and then to follow the Thames Valley into London. His decision to use broad gauge for the line was controversial in that almost all British railways to date had used standard gauge. Brunel said that this was nothing more than a carry-over from the mine railways that George Stephenson had worked on prior to making the world’s first passenger railway. Brunel proved through both calculation and a series of trials that his broader gauge was the optimum size for providing both higher speeds and a stable and comfortable ride to passengers. In addition the wider gauge allowed for larger carriages and thus greater freight capacity.

Drawing on Brunel’s experience with the Thames Tunnel, the Great Western contained a series of impressive achievements—soaring viaducts such as the one in Ivybridge, specially designed stations, and vast tunnels including the Box Tunnel, which was the longest railway tunnel in the world at that time.

The initial group of locomotives ordered by Brunel to his own specifications proved unsatisfactory, apart from the North Star locomotive, and 20-year-old Daniel Gooch was appointed as Superintendent of Locomotive Engines. Brunel and Gooch chose to locate their locomotive works at the village of Swindon, at the point where the gradual ascent from London turned into the steeper descent to the Avon valley at Bath.

Brunel’s achievements ignited the imagination of the technically minded Britons of the age, and he soon became quite notable in the country because of this interest.

After Brunel’s death the decision was taken that standard gauge should be used for all railways in the country.

The present London Paddington station was designed by Brunel and opened in 1854. Examples of his designs for smaller stations on the Great Western and associated lines which survive in good condition include Mortimer, Charlbury and Bridgend (all Italianate) and Culham (Tudorbethan). Surviving examples of wooden train sheds in his style are at Frome and Kingswear.

Overall, there were negative views as to how society viewed the railways. Some landowners felt the railways were a threat to amenities or property values and others requested tunnels on their land so the railway could not be seen.

In 1835, before the Great Western Railway had opened, Brunel proposed extending its transport network by boat from Bristol across the Atlantic Ocean to New York City. The Great Western Steamship Company was formed by Thomas Guppy for that purpose.

It was widely disputed whether it would be commercially viable for a ship powered purely by steam to make such long journeys. Technological developments in the early 1830s—including the invention of the surface condenser, which allowed boilers to run on salt water without stopping to be cleaned—made longer journeys more possible, but it was generally thought that a ship would not be able to carry enough fuel for the trip and have room for a commercial cargo.

Brunel formulated the theory that the amount a ship could carry increased as the cube of its dimensions, whereas the amount of resistance a ship experienced from the water as it travelled only increased by a square of its dimensions. This would mean that moving a larger ship would take proportionately less fuel than a smaller ship. To test this theory, Brunel offered his services for free to the Great Western Steamship Company, which appointed him to its building committee and entrusted him with designing its first ship, the Great Western.

When it was built, the Great Western was the longest ship in the world at 236 ft with a 250-foot keel. The ship was constructed mainly from wood, but Brunel added bolts and iron diagonal reinforcements to maintain the keel’s strength. In addition to its steam-powered paddle wheels, the ship carried four masts for sails. The Great Western embarked on her maiden voyage from Avonmouth, Bristol, to New York on 8 April 1838 with 600 long tons of coal, cargo and seven passengers on board.

Brunel himself missed this initial crossing, having been injured during a fire aboard the ship as she was returning from fitting out in London. As the fire delayed the launch several days, the Great Western missed its opportunity to claim title as the first ship to cross the Atlantic under steam power alone. Even with a four-day head start, the competing Sirius arrived only one day earlier and its crew was forced to burn cabin furniture, spare yards and one mast for fuel.

In contrast, the Great Western crossing of the Atlantic took 15 days and five hours, and the ship arrived at her destination with a third of its coal still remaining, demonstrating that Brunel’s calculations were correct. The Great Western had proved the viability of commercial transatlantic steamship service, which led the Great Western Steamboat Company to use her in regular service between Bristol and New York from 1838 to 1846. She made 64 crossings, and was the first ship to hold the Blue Riband with a crossing time of 13 days westbound and 12 days 6 hours eastbound. The service was commercially successful enough for a sister ship to be required, which Brunel was asked to design.

Brunel had become convinced of the superiority of propeller-driven ships over paddle wheels. After tests conducted aboard the propeller-driven steam tug Archimedes, he incorporated a large six-bladed propeller into his design for the 322-foot Great Britain, which was launched in 1843. Great Britain is considered the first modern ship, being built of metal rather than wood, powered by an engine rather than wind or oars, and driven by propeller rather than paddle wheel. She was the first iron-hulled, propeller-driven ship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Her maiden voyage was made in August and September 1845, from Liverpool to New York. In 1846, she was run aground at Dundrum, County Down. She was salvaged and employed in the Australian service.

In 1852 Brunel turned to a third ship, larger than her predecessors, intended for voyages to India and Australia. The Great Eastern (originally dubbed Leviathan) was cutting-edge technology for her time: almost 700 ft long, fitted out with the most luxurious appointments, and capable of carrying over 4,000 passengers. Great Eastern was designed to cruise non-stop from London to Sydney and back (since engineers of the time misunderstood that Australia had no coal reserves), and she remained the largest ship built until the start of the 20th century.

Like many of Brunel’s ambitious projects, the ship soon ran over budget and behind schedule in the face of a series of technical problems. The ship has been portrayed as a white elephant, but in this case Brunel’s failure was principally one of economics—his ships were simply years ahead of their time. His vision and engineering innovations made the building of large-scale, propeller-driven, all-metal steamships a practical reality, but the prevailing economic and industrial conditions meant that it would be several decades before transoceanic steamship travel emerged as a viable industry.

Great Eastern was built at John Scott Russell’s Napier Yard in London, and after two trial trips in 1859, set forth on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York on 17 June 1860. Though a failure at her original purpose of passenger travel, she eventually found a role as an oceanic telegraph cable-layer. The Great Eastern played a significant role in laying the first lasting transatlantic telegraph cable, which enabled telecommunication between Europe and North America.

During the Crimean War, an old Turkish barracks became the British Army Hospital in Scutari. Injured men contracted a variety of illnesses—including cholera, dysentery, typhoid and malaria—due to poor conditions there, and Florence Nightingale sent a plea to The Times for the government to produce a solution.

Brunel was working on the Great Eastern amongst other projects, but accepted the task in February 1855 of designing and building the War Office requirement of a temporary, pre-fabricated hospital that could be shipped to Crimea and erected there. In 5 months the team he had assembled designed, built, and shipped pre-fabricated wood and canvas buildings, providing them complete with advice on transportation and positioning of the facilities.

Brunel had been working Gloucester Docks-based William Eassrie on the launching stage for the Great Eastern, a man who had designed and built wooden prefabricated huts used in both the Australian gold rush, as well as by the British and French Armies in the Crimea. Using wood supplied by timber importers Price & Co., Eassrie fabricated 18 of the two-50 patient wards designed by Brunel, shipped directly via 16 ships from Gloucester Docks to the Dardanelles. The Renkioi Hospital was subsequently erected near Scutari Hospital, where Nightingale was based, in the malaria-free area of Renkioi.

His designs incorporated the necessities of hygiene: access to sanitation, ventilation, drainage, and even rudimentary temperature controls. They were feted as a great success, with some sources stating that of the approximately 1,300 patients treated in the hospital, there were only 50 deaths. In the Scutari hospital it replaced, deaths were said to be as many as 10 times this number. Nightingale referred to them as “those magnificent huts”. The practice of building hospitals from pre-fabricated modules survives today.

In 1830, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

On 5 July 1836, Brunel married Mary Elizabeth Horsley, who came from an accomplished musical and artistic family, being the eldest daughter of composer and organist William Horsley. They established a home at Duke Street, Westminster, in London.

In 1843, while performing a conjuring trick for the amusement of his children, Brunel accidentally inhaled a half-sovereign coin, which became lodged in his windpipe. A special pair of forceps failed to remove it, as did a machine devised by Brunel to shake it loose. At the suggestion of his father, Brunel was strapped to a board and turned upside-down, and the coin was jerked free. He recuperated at Teignmouth, and enjoyed the area so much that he purchased an estate at Watcombe in Torquay, Devon. Here he designed Brunel Manor and its gardens to be his retirement home. He never saw the house or gardens finished, as he died before it was completed.

Brunel, a heavy smoker, suffered a stroke in 1859, just before the Great Eastern made her first voyage to New York. He died ten days later at the age of 53 and was buried, like his father, in Kensal Green Cemetery in London. He left behind his wife Mary and three children: Isambard Brunel Junior, Henry Marc Brunel and Florence Mary Brunel. Henry Marc followed his father and grandfather in becoming a successful civil engineer.

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The End of the World This is the first of the Regency Romances I published. It is available for sale and I hope that you will take the opportunity to order your copy.

For yourself or as a gift. It is now available in a variety of formats. For $5.99 you can get this Regency Romance for your eReader. A little more as an actual physical book.

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Hermione Merwyn leads a pleasant, quiet life with her father, in the farthest corner of England. All is as it should be, though change is sure to come.  For she and her sister have reached the age of marriage, but that can be no great adventure when life at home has already been so bountiful.

When Samuel Lynchhammer arrives in Cornwall, having journeyed the width of the country, he is down to his last few quid and needs to find work for his keep. Spurned by the most successful mine owner in the county, Gavin Tadcaster, Samuel finds work for Gavin’s adversary, Sir Lawrence Merwyn.

Can working for Sir Lawrence, the father of two young women on the cusp of their first season to far away London, be what Samuel needs to help him resolve the reasons for his running away from his obligations in the east of the country?

Will the daughters be able to find happiness in the desolate landscapes and deadly mines of their home? When a stranger arrives in Cornwall while the war rages on the Peninsula, is he the answer to one’s prayers, or a nightmare wearing the disguise of a gentleman?

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