In the late 1700s, Amos Carlisle’s family is evicted from their cottage when a land grab by the lord of the manor follows implementation of the Enclosures Act, which caused violent unrest. The Carlisles took to the road in a horse-drawn caravan, and when Amos’ parents died, he continued on alone. His meeting with Sarah Fletcher and her daughter Ruth, who are also victims of these hard times, is the beginning of an adventure. It would be reasonable to ask what draws him repeatedly to this barren and lawless place, set in the wilderness of the Staffordshire Moorlands, where winters are harsh and poverty and hardship are constant companions? His secret is something that could carry extreme consequences should he be apprehended, but there is a part of him that longs for the excitement that the risk of discovery brings. Unafraid of hard physical labour, his time spent in this moorland village, brings him into contact with vicious thugs, cock-fighting, bare-knuckle fighting, and even a death resulting from an illegal abortion.
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- Editorial: ERNEST SWAIN
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