Beryl Kingston comes to the blog with the first in her re-released series, the Easter Empire Trilogy, a story that starts in 18th century England in
Nan Smithen went into service as a child, and determined to make more of her life than just that. Working from scullery maid up to a ladies maid, an attack led to fortuitous events, for her. Rescued from a mob by Mr. Easter, he’s captivated by her spirit and determination, and sets out a course that will change both their lives. For Mr. Easter is a kindly, if somewhat timid man, easily distracted and wholly hypochondriac. Nan’s influence to his life: bringing him joy in showing her new things, her determination to succeed and find business for them both is a tonic – and there is true love there, perhaps at first more on his side, but the respect and joy in Nan and their children is evident. But an ill-fated treat and trip to Paris sends everything into a tailspin, as they arrived to see the trial of the King and his execution, and while Nan was caught up in the moment and the excitement, Mr. Easter was set upon and killed – leaving her a widow with little income, three children and no support from the Easter family at all.
With a bit of determination and some serious hard work, Nan soon turns a small newspaper route into a near-total takeover of all the paper routes in London, reading rooms, home delivery, stationary shops and exclusive deals with the owner / printer of the Times – a new paper that is cheap, full of news, and quite popular above and below stairs. Follow her as she builds her empire, falls for a Calvary Guard in Calverly Leigh, sees her daughter married, her sons coming into the business, and discovering the power of family, friends and hard work: all from a simple kitchen maid with a plan to be more.
Originally published in 1988, it doesn’t show signs, possibly because the story takes us through the Mad King George and his profligate son’s reign, and the merchant class, being a thing “not done’ by the ton allows Nan the freedom to be who she is – determined, bold and sharply protective of her business, with ideas that flow freely, catching the ‘next wave’ of the new thing, perhaps even shaping the ‘need’ for news among the people of London. A lovely story that brings emotion, hope, history and a ton of admiration for Nan to the forefront.
Title: Tuppenny Times
Author: Beryl Kingston
Series: Easter Empire Trilogy #1
Genre: British, Family Saga, Historic Elements, Historic Woman's Fiction, Napoleonic Era, Romantic Elements, Setting: Britain, War of 1812, Woman's Fiction
Published by: Agora Books
Published on: 6 February, 2020 (Re-Release)
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 18 Hours: 41 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ iTunes ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
Nan Smithen wants so much more from her life than being a lady’s maid. Fearless and ambitious, Nan carves out a new life for herself by marrying a wealthy businessman. Gaining status, wealth, and children, Nan seems to have everything she could have wanted.
But when her adoring husband dies in revolutionary France, Nan finds herself right where she started: penniless and downtrodden. Rather than mourn the life she had, Nan Smithen vows to make her own fortune. Beginning with a simple newswalk in Mayfair, Nan starts to build a business empire that will spread far beyond the confines of London.
And when the dashing, but dastardly, Calverly Leigh saunters into her life, Nan must protect both her newfound fortune and her heart.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.