Sunday, 1 May 2016

High Heatherton

High Heatherton is a historic novel by Sussex author Judith Thomson.

Set in the turbulent times of the 17th Century,  it follows the fortunes of Philip Devalle, who is the younger son of an Earl.

Unfortunately for Philip he is left without a penny piece when his older brother, unfortunately declared insane and incarcerated within the tender mercies of Bedlam hospital, inherits the family estate, High Heatherton.

Philip has been serving in the army of the French and when he returns to Britain he has one aim, to obtain High Heatherton for himself.

Philip Devalle has a potentially very able ally in the form of Lord Shaftesbury.  His Lordship is  man of many and varied talents, including the ability to create stratagems and craft plots so his promises to Philip Devalle to use his influences with the law courts to help him regain  High Heatherton were not beyond the boundaries of possibility.

But there's a rather large price attached to the help proffered by Lord Shaftsbury. For he demands, in return, that Philip Devalle assists him in a plot to place the illegitimate son of King Charles, the Duke of Monmouth, on the throne. For Shaftesbury is convinced that he could easily manipulate him, once he were placed on the throne of England.

But Philip Devalle has enemies in England, enemies who mean him harm. So he must treat them with caution and to keep as far away from them as he can. Especially as he is aware that the plot he is engaged in is treason. And the penalty for treason was an ignominious death by being hung, drawn and quartered.

He realises, in his attempts to regain what he has lost, to his mind, unfairly, that he has managed to get himself very deeply into a plot that could cost him his life.

But could he extricate himself from the situation and get what he prized?

The book is based on the real and tumultuous events of the Monmouth rebellion and is published by Matador at £9.99 and is an ideal real for lovers of historic fiction.

You can order it now at the That's Books and Entertainment bookshop, which you will find to the right-hand side of this book review.

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