Published: 01/10/2013
ISBN: 9781783060498
eISBN: 9781783069361
Format: Paperback/eBook

"A whistle stop tour of the period 1820-1890... [A] story encompassing the peoples of a specific region [that] should be of high interest to descendants of those places and times... Easy, understandable language in short sharp chapters, with the barest of regional dialect to impede the reader."
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About the Author

Hamilton Hay has enjoyed telling stories all his life: as a primary school teacher early in his career, reading bedtime stories to his daughter, writing role plays for management trainees and becoming... read more

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A Rebellious Breed
A Nineteenth Century Tale of West Ham, East London
by Hamilton Hay

From rural Essex in the 1820s to London’s docklands in the 1890s, the poor, forced off the land, have choices to make. Do they risk London, with its diseases and crime, in order to find work? Is there any way they can fight back against their masters?

The Walton family are an awkward bunch who won’t conform to other people’s rules. James Walton becomes an outlaw. His son, Will, wants a revolution. Trouble and the hand of the law threaten both their lives. At the same time, two women face the challenge of trying to break out of the straitjacket imposed on their gender. Mary wants to train as a nurse, knowing that by doing so, she has to deny her relationship with Will. Emma’s struggle for independence leads to a prison record and an addiction to opium.

Across London, from the poshest parts to the roughest, a rich mixture of characters – devout Christians, the Irish community, a family of police officers and a mysterious Indian prince – have a part to play in helping Will as he undertakes a search for a missing person and his own salvation.

A Rebellious Breed is a work of historical fiction, set in West Ham, that aims to give a voice to the dispossessed from the land, as well as the thousands who drifted to the Docklands from around the world. Author Hamilton Hay has used archive material from West Ham, as well as other London boroughs and the Essex record office, weaving his research into this fast-paced novel. He is inspired by a number of writers, classical and modern, including Blake, Shelley, Dostoyevsky, Hardy, Dickens, Philip Pullman and Suzanne Collins.

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Several bookshops around E.London stocking the book. Lot of interest shown in Newham.

Talks coming up with local history groups. First out is Newham History Society on 11th November.

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