Read Black Hearts in Battersea by Joan Aiken Free Online
Book Title: Black Hearts in Battersea|
The author of the book: Joan Aiken
Edition: Red Fox
Date of issue: October 27th 1992
ISBN 13: 9780099888604
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 4.96 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2233 times
Reader ratings: 6.3
Read full description of the books:
The strange algorithms of Amazon recommended a book to me a few years ago: The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken. I had never heard of it, but it seemed interesting enough.
That is an understatement.
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase is an unbelievably fun and charming book set in an alternate England, where James III rules, the Hanoverian Pretender plots to retake the throne, and wolves run amok over the isle of Britain. No, I'm not being metaphorical: wolves, like in a pack, with sharp teeth and slashing claws and shaggy pelts. The whole nine yards of wolves.
Black Hearts in Battersea is one of Aiken's Wolves books, but I wouldn't say you need to have read TWoWC first. This book follows Simon, an orphan who befriended Bonnie and Sylvia, the protagonists of the first book. After triumphing over evil, as one does in a charming novel such as this, he sets out for London to meet his friend, Dr. Fields, and study painting, for which he has a rather astonishing talent.
But strange and dangerous schemes are afoot in London, and Simon walks, completely unwittingly, into them. First, there's the mysterious way in which he arrives at the lodgings described by Dr. Fields. Then, there's Dido: a spunky, slightly whiny, opinionated urchin who knows more than she lets on. In loco parentis (can a child act in loco parentis???), she takes on Simon as a boarder while Mum, Dad, and sister Penelope Twite are out on the town.
After enrolling at the art academy and making friends with a smithy named Cobb, Simon also discovers that his friend Sophie is lady's-maid to the Duchess of Battersea. The Duke, in a curious turn of events utterly befitting his eccentric yet kindly demeanor, meets Simon and invites him to Battersea Castle to play chess. Meanwhile, the Hanoverian plot to assassinate the King and his loyal friends, the Duke and Duchess of Battersea, slowly encircles Simon.
Aiken has written a rollicking joy of a book, with a very Dickensian charm (she even borrows at least one name--Turveytop--from my very favorite Dickens, Bleak House). Pick up this book and you will be holding an adventure involving hot air balloons, muskets, strange men who play the hoboy (oboe), donkeys, dynamite, shipwrecks, mistaken identities, mince pies, opera fires, and the King's saucy talking bird! And that's not even the half of it.
Simon manages to be completely likable but also interesting and imperfect, and Sophie is impish and clever. Dido charms and irritates, and I just want to give the Duke of Battersea a good hug and then challenge him to a snowball fight.
This series deserves far more recognition than it has received, and I talk it up whenever possible at work. Hunt for this one and be rewarded! And watch out for the wolves!
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Read information about the authorJoan Aiken was a much loved English writer who received the MBE for services to Children's Literature. She was known as a writer of wild fantasy, Gothic novels and unforgettable short stories.
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Her most famous classic, THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE has been in print for over 50 years with an AUDIO recorded by her daughter Lizza.
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For Joan's life and full Bibliography visit http://www.joanaiken.com/
Joan's Life in brief:
She was born in Rye, East Sussex, into a family of writers, including her father, Conrad Aiken (who won a Pulitzer Prize for his poetry), and her sister, Jane Aiken Hodge.
She worked for the United Nations Information Office during the second world war,and then as an editor and freelance on Argosy magazine before she started writing full time, mainly children's books and thrillers. For her books she received the Guardian Award (1969) and the Edgar Allan Poe Award (1972).
Her most popular series, the "Wolves Chronicles" which began with 'The Wolves of Willoughby Chase', was set in an elaborate alternate period of history in a Britain in which James II was never deposed in the Glorious Revolution,and so supporters of the House of Hanover continually plot to overthrow the Stuart Kings. These books also feature cockney urchin heroine Dido Twite and her adventures and travels all over the world.
Another series of children's books about Arabel and her raven Mortimer are illustrated by Quentin Blake, and have been shown on the BBC as Jackanory and drama series. Others including the much loved 'Necklace of Raindrops' and award winning 'Kingdom Under the Sea' are illustrated by Jan Pieńkowski.
Her many novels for adults include several that continue or complement novels by Jane Austen. These include 'Mansfield Revisited' and 'Jane Fairfax'.
Aiken was a lifelong fan of ghost stories. She set her adult supernatural novel The Haunting Of Lamb House at Lamb House in Rye (now a National Trust property). This ghost story recounts in fictional form an alleged haunting experienced by two former residents of the house, Henry James and E. F. Benson, both of whom also wrote ghost stories. Aiken's father, Conrad Aiken, also authored a small number of notable ghost stories.
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