Troubador Blackdaw Cottage

Released: 01/06/2011

ISBN: 9781848766556

eISBN: 9781848769076

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Blackdaw Cottage


When Abigail, Morton, Ruth and her dog go sledging one snowy day in their sleepy village, they wander off into the forest to find the cottage of the notorious recluse, Bentley. After an encounter with the unpleasant gamekeeper Vargis, they continue through a worsening blizzard to the cottage, where they are forced to take shelter.

Bentley returns and the children are scared, but they soon grow to trust the elderly man, who tells them the story of Ivan and Gertrude Murdac, outcasts who lived at Blackdaw Cottage years earlier. Meanwhile, the children's parents wait for them, miles away, worried at the fate of their offspring in such horrendous conditions.

Day turns to night, night turns to day, and everyone finds that the snow has changed some things forever....

A novel for children aged from 12-16, Blackdaw Cottage will keep the reader hooked as they follow the story of the Murdacs and the fate of the three young children and a dog. “Blackdaw Cottage began life as a 1,000 word ghost story for a competition about twelve years ago. My computer broke down and I missed the entry deadline. University intervened and the story was put aside. It was revisited seven or eight years later. Other ideas for expanding the story had developed and I attached to the nucleus the adventures of three children. I wanted to resurrect characters, convey the traits of people I associated with in rural Yorkshire in my youth, whose presence remains vivid in my imagination still," says Philip Dent of his writing the book.

is my second novel and is now out as an ebook on Amazon.

My novel explores Charlotte Bronte's love affair, and portrays her removed from the dowdy spinster she exists in the minds of many. shows a passionate, and indeed a compassionate side to Charlotte's nature in an age when women were expected to adhere to the strict, pious conventions of Victorianism. My book challenges this, showing her as a feisty woman with a wicked sense of humour, able to stand her ground with the best of men.

In the aftermath of the deaths of her siblings, Charlotte was lonely; she was troubled frequently by ill health, while struggling to finish her novel . In order to help alleviate her loneliness she visited friends whenever she could, and travelled to her publishers in London. Nothing, though, could compensate for the loss of her sisters. Then Arthur Nicholls, Patrick Bronte's curate, proposed marriage. A new beginning beckoned, but her father's opposition was both unexpected and vociferous. He was furious that the 'lowly' curate should have the audacity to attempt to enhance his position in marrying his now famous daughter. Mr Bronte forbade such a union, which awakened strong emotions.

Could romance flourish amid such hostile opposition, amid bigotry and prejudice. Download a copy of and discover for yourself.

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Philip Dent

Born in Yorkshire in 1951, where I have lived most of my life, I left school in 1966 without academic qualifications. Finding employment in a variety of jobs, including farming and factory work. Then in 1997, with the encouragement of family and valued friends, I took time out and enrolled on a degree course in English at De Montfort University in Leicester. A desire to write developed, as did an appetite for study, and I completed a Masters Degree, again in English, this time at the University of Leicester.

After graduating, three productive, if unprofitable years were spent writing, which included completing a first draft of my novel and a screenplay of Charlotte Brontë's own love affair. Then I took a job in a supermarket in order to replenish my depleted finances: the tyranny there was tempered only by the antics, humour and friendliness of valued colleagues. But the work was only ever intended as temporary, and the necessary period of enslavement ended last autumn - August 2014. By then I felt sufficiently solvent and was able to put an end to the cruel inconveniences that hamper creativity. Taking the screenplay that I had drafted some years earlier, I began converting it into a work of prose. That task is now complete and resulted in

I remain single: the wealthy widow has so far failed to appear, which has left the responsibility of continuing the family gene line to my siblings, three sisters and a brother. Their offspring in turn, my nephews and nieces, and their judiciously selected partners are already busy delivering and raising a burgeoning new generation.

All are supportive of my literary aspirations and encourage me in their own way; some perhaps, from expectations of one day reaping pecuniary rewards. They are who they are, my family, and I have no wish to swap any.

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