Farewell to Lancashire
The four Blake sisters have no work and life is hard. Cassandra has fallen in love with Reece Gregory, but he too is out of work and can’t support a wife. When he’s offered a chance to start a new life in Australia, he takes it and promises to send for her. Her father’s health is failing so she can’t leave him.
Their uncle’s childless wife loathes them. She has Cassandra kidnapped to force the other sisters to sail with a group of starving cotton lasses to Australia.
When Cassandra escapes, she follows them. Reece is in Australia too. Surely now she’ll find happiness? But the voyage brings its own difficulties and the past still casts a long shadow.
After I found out about 60 cotton lasses being sent to Western Australia in 1863, I had it in mind for years to write a story based on that.
The time came in 2006, when I bought 'An Australian Parsonage' by Mrs Edward Millett, a facsimile edition of a book of memoirs first published in 1872. To my delight the first chapter was an account of the voyage out on the 'Tartar'. This is the ship on which the real cotton lasses sailed to Western Australia (also known then as the Swan River Colony), arriving in December 1863. I knew then that the time had come to write my story.
And what a pleasure that was! I always love story-telling, but I also thoroughly enjoy learning more about my adopted country from doing the research. I hope I've shared with the readers my own fascination with the history of the 'Cinderella colony' which had only about 30,000 inhabitants in 1863, in an area approximately ten times the size of Britain.
I'd also read about a real millworker who'd called his daughters after Greek goddesses and was learning Greek as he did his weaving in the cotton mill. So when I called the four sisters by Greek names, again I was inspired by real life.
This is the first of three books about the Blake sisters.
Book 2 'Beyond the Sunset' came out in hardback in mid-2010 and in paperback in July 2011.
Book 3 'Destiny's Path' was published in March 2011, and the paperback comes out in December 2011
'Farewell to Lancashire' has been published in hardback, large print, paperback and audio formats. It is available for sale in most English-speaking countries and if your local bookshop doesn’t stock it, you can ask them to order it for you.
Readers buying on line can order this book from:
or from Amazon UK
or from Amazon.ca
or postage free anywhere in the world from:
The Book Depository.