The Blackwater Saga: A Victorian Riverside Romance
IN LATE-19TH-CENTURY coastal Essex physician-turned-novelist Dr. Richard Wilde is taking a holiday in the country to escape the pressures of London life. A fortuitous accident leads to him meeting a beautiful 18-year-old local girl, Bessie Cable, with whom he keenly pursues a platonic relationship as he sees in her the model for the heroine of his next novel.Bessie's long-time love, the ignorant farmhand Tom Spiggins, does not, however, take kindly to the doctor's interest in his girl. As jealousy takes hold of Tom and old passions reawaken some lost threads of his family history, the potential for conflict between Tom and the doctor begins to loom large. Inspired by the Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould's classic Essex marshland novel Mehalah, The Blackwater Saga is written in the traditional romantic style of Victorian novels. Its author, Ian Yearsley, draws heavily on his background as an Essex historian to set the action in the fictional village of Loriston, on the north shore of the River Blackwater between Maldon and Tollesbury, where the atmosphere and the story of a classic love triangle both come alive through the gentle geography of a rural riverside village.
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