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A Just and Upright Man: 1763. Northeast England. A murder to solve and a girl's heart to win (The James Blakiston Series Book 1) by [R J Lynch]
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A Just and Upright Man: 1763. Northeast England. A murder to solve and a girl's heart to win (The James Blakiston Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 27 ratings
Book 1 of 2: The James Blakiston Series

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Length: 305 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled
  • Book 1 of 2 in The James Blakiston Series
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I cannot praise this book highly enough, it was a novel I did not want to end. A truly superb novel and indie publishing at its very best." The Historical Novel Society

From the Author

I received an email telling me that A Just and Upright Man was rubbish and my correspondent was pleased that she'd bought it for her Kindle and read it quickly because she'd been able to get her money back from Amazon, the miserable skinflint, and so my trash hadn't cost her anything other than the few hours of her time I'd stolen.

My offence was to write an historical romance/crime novel from the point of view of the people at the bottom of the social heap--the poor. Lizzie Greener and her family, as well as Tom Laws and his, should be beneath notice. Literature, whatever that is, should concern itself only with the upper classes. If some people of the past are invisible there is, it seems, a reason for that. They are not worthy of notice.

Well, I can't agree. I suppose I'm influenced by the fact that, if Lizzie Greener and Tom Laws had not lived in the northeast two hundred and fifty years ago then I wouldn't be here now, but it's more than self-interest. Those peasants and paupers whose every day was a struggle to survive make for better fiction than some spoilt princess.
In any case, they're not invisible. You have to look a bit harder--I've spent hours in archives around the country, going through original documents, and I'll spend hours more and after doing that for a while these 'invisible' people start to look out at you from the pages. Look at this from a 1765 parish account book:
Three Fox and two Foulmartens heads four and twopence
Who trapped and killed those foxes and martens so that they could claim the bounty? And what did they do with the money? Four shillings and twopence was a fortune at a time when they could also write:
To Hauxley Todd for 2 carts of coals & loading three shillings and eightpence
and when it cost the parish a guinea--one pound and one shilling--to keep Edward Scott in the Poor House for 14 weeks.
In 1745 there were sixteen paupers in Ryton Constablery (sic) and we know their names and how much they were given to get them through the year (it wasn't much). Turn to the parish registers and there they are lined up for us: the year of their birth; the year they were baptised (not always the same as the birth year and there's a story there, too, for anyone who cares to look); the names of their parents; who they married (and when); what children they had; and when they died.

What about Richard Evans, imprisoned and sentenced to hard labour for being "a loose disorderly fellow of ill fame". Evans was convicted on no more than the oath of a churchwarden. Who is going to tell his story if not me? And what would that churchwarden have made of the man I saw sixty years ago trying to get the key into the door of his miserable cottage while concealing from this small boy the fact (actually quite unconcealable) that he was as drunk as a Lord? Why does this woman who abuses me by email and steals the fruits of my labors by reading and then not paying believe that the Lord's story would be more worth telling than the laborer's? Those shabby cottages were knocked down years ago--is every trace of the people who lived there to vanish?

Not if I have anything to do with it.
--This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN : B00CZ5E7XO
  • Publisher : Mandrill Press (January 14, 2014)
  • Publication date : January 14, 2014
  • Language: : English
  • File size : 785 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 305 pages
  • Lending : Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.9 out of 5 stars 27 ratings

Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5
27 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on August 9, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on October 25, 2013
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Reviewed in the United States on October 31, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on January 17, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on May 7, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on July 28, 2019
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Top reviews from other countries

LEP
4.0 out of 5 stars Evokes the plight of the rural poor in the 18th century.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 5, 2018
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3 people found this helpful
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Brad bee
3.0 out of 5 stars It didn't engage me .
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 20, 2020
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Debbie Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Sparkling, gritty and engaging historical novel about the Enclosures
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 24, 2015
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Francine Howarth
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable read! - (reviewed for RRM - Romance Reviews Magazine)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 24, 2014
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Dave Scholey
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellenr
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 7, 2020
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