Beyond the Darkened Forest: A Seventeenth Century Historical Novel

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9781477120859: Beyond the Darkened Forest: A Seventeenth Century Historical Novel

An historical novel based around two main characters, Gumshu and Grundwell, who are born into humble beginnings and then rise to become heads of highly successful business empires in the coal and woollen industries.

Set in and around the Forest of Dean in the English county of Gloucestershire in the early 1600s, the story also gets a strong maritime flavour through the introduction of the two as evolving ship owners whose vessels ply the southern coasts of England, Wales, Ireland, and beyond.

The opening chapters recount the secretive and bizarre circumstances surrounding their birth; the emergence of the two from childhood through to the time of their marriages to Maisey and Sophie, together with a traumatic incident that triggers personal revelations, with the most shocking of consequences.

The commercial progression and financial successes in the middle of the novel are interspaced with adventure, drama, passion, humour, love, and poignant intimate moments for the two men, their families, and the peripheral characters that emerge with the development of the story.

The ensuing chapters narrate a near-catastrophic financial collapse of one of the businesses, the Spinning Wheel, whilst the coal business of Hawk Mines goes from strength to strength under Gumshu and his eldest daughter's stewardship, supervised by the sensual but intuitive Maisey.

The slightly mythical closure of the book introduces younger characters that take the story forward, whilst at the same time disclosing a highly emotional discovery to the two central characters.

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About the Author:

A retired director of a national British company, the author is married with three grown up children. Having lived in Wales for most of his life, outdoor pursuits have always figured prominently in life, with sailing and horses being at the top of the agenda when business and family allowed. Copious amounts of commercial correspondence coupled with short stories and articles in various magazines, all written in a slightly humorous, tongue in cheek style, have led to the emergence of his first novel, 'Beyond the Darkened Forest'.

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