THE EMIGRANTS: The Brothers Five
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It was not really a choice – starve, emigrate or be transported! Face death by drowning, disease or fire. Steal a loaf of bread and hang or be transported to the same colonies anyway… but in chains. The Emigrants is the thrilling tale of the brutality and cruelty of life at the time, the challenging story of migration to the colonies... and the hope, desire and love that traveled with them. More
It was not really a choice – starve, emigrate or be transported!
Face death by drowning, disease or fire. Steal a loaf of bread and hang or be transported to the same colonies anyway… but in chains.
The Emigrants: The Brothers Five is the thrilling tale of the brutality and cruelty of life at the time, the challenging story of migration to the colonies... and the hope, desire and love that went with them.
The historically based novel chronicles the lives of four English families, each from dramatically different classes in 19th century Victorian society. Incongruent relationships are traced from Cambridgeshire to migration in 1853 and the tumultuous journey aboard the Harriet to the colony of New South Wales.
In England, the vicious crimes of the Sheathers shadow the two brothers. Soon an urgent departure is needed to defeat the hangman.
For the Bunch brothers, opportunity calls but murder stalks the three young men, making escape their only option.
Wealth fails to insulate an aristocratic family from misadventure and death. For the only son of the Earl of Shipton, the colonies are a place to forget.
For a God-fearing woodcutter’s family, a new beginning beckons.
With famine gripping the country and more mouths to feed, thousands took any available ship, totally unprepared for the rigours and agonies to be faced. Strangers to the sea, most had no knowledge of the tempestuous oceans to be encountered, not that long ago sailed only by intrepid explorers.
Departing from the ancient port of Southampton, there were many changes to the once pretty seaside town as it became one of the major emigrant ports.
Timber wharves replaced the stony beaches. Filth and open sewers discharge into the previously pristine, deep waters of the River Test and a forest of masts from all over the world substitute for the tall trees of yesteryear
Warehouses, bawdy houses, brothels, bars and inns provided refuge to spivs, pickpockets, pimps, prostitutes and all manner of crooks to sell their wares or ply their trades. Men were robbed or shanghaied, women raped or kidnapped – there was nothing that could not be bought, begged, stolen or sold along the waterfront.
Ships invariably departed with a human cargo. The wretches for transport to the colonies as convicts were chained in long sad rows, hands secured to hands, legs to legs, shuffling forward to some unheard cadence. Now the human exodus was voluntary but no less sad, leaving their loved ones for the uncertainties of the colonies.
For many, the only differences were the lack of chains and the crack of the cat-o-nine tails.
The 120,000-word The Emigrants: The Brothers Five the first volume of a trilogy – has all the crime, action, suspense and romance of the best-selling novel tempered with the realism of the true story of the stoicism of the lower classes making up most of the emigrants – and the foundation of the colonies.
Nearly half the English-speaking world is directly related to the greatest diaspora in recent history. The reality is that they are the result of the new start in life that their forebears sought and for which they suffered.
Many of our forebears were such an emigrant family – this is their story.