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A Regency Christmas Carol

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  • Posted March 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    An Insightful Look at the Industrial Revolution

    Joseph Stratford is the rich owner of a newly built mill, an inventor, and the son of a lowly weaver. He has risen from nothing and has set his sights upon marrying the daughter of a local lord who has fallen on hard times. He does not love the lady but wants her, her former home, and all the social trappings that go along with her position because, to him, they define the success he has always aspired to have. Yet the villagers hate him, his future in-laws despise him, and the lady he plans to marry loves and pines for another man.

    Barbara Lampett is a gentleman's daughter; however, her family has struggled financially since her father received a head injury helping to fight a fire at the old mill as it burned. To make matters worse, Mr. Lampett is no longer able to work as a teacher, since his mental state declined after the accident, and he now spends his days writing and giving speeches against the evils of mill owners who employ new machinary that leaves so many of the former mill workers unemployed and unable to feed their families.

    Quickly, Joseph Stratford and Barbara Lampett find themselves on a collision course as he threatens to call in the local militia if Mr. Lampett does not cease inciting unrest among the villagers towards him and his newly built but unopened mill.

    This story starts out strong and borrows the premise of ghostly visits to Joseph from Dicken's A Christmas Carol. The storyline does begin to lose momentum as Joseph's battle with his all consuming aspirations conflicts with his relationship with Barbara, the woman he fights admitting he's fallen in love with.

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