Cattle & Sheep & Boats

Cattle & Sheep & Boats

by Geoffrey Lewis
     
 

With the publication in 2009 of The New Number One, Geoffrey Lewis’ popular trilogy of historical novels set on England’s canals came to an end. Or so we thought... The brief epilogue of that book suggested many changes over a thirty-year period, and now this new book tells us how those changes came about:

August 1957 – It seems as though

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Overview

With the publication in 2009 of The New Number One, Geoffrey Lewis’ popular trilogy of historical novels set on England’s canals came to an end. Or so we thought... The brief epilogue of that book suggested many changes over a thirty-year period, and now this new book tells us how those changes came about:

August 1957 – It seems as though the parting of the ways has come for Michael and Harriet Baker and their children as they leave friends and family to head for a new life in Australia, but back in England, those friends and family are carrying on with life as before. The canals are still working, the trade still running at least for a time; in Queensland, life on a big outback station is a new experience for the Baker clan. Cattle & Sheep & Boats effectively picks up the stories of Geoffrey Lewis’ most popular characters to date, allowing his many readers to catch up with the people they have come to know from the books of the trilogy, and see how life has developed for them. And at last, how despite living on opposite sides of the world, the Baker and Hanney families are finally united...

This book is laid out in a very unusual fashion – the stories of Michael and Harriet’s settling in to life Down Under and Stevie Hanney’s return to the canals are told in the form of the exchange of letters between Warwickshire and Queensland, finally leading us to the same epilogue that concluded The New Number One. It tells the tale of the final decline of carrying on England’s canals, and the growth of the waterway leisure industry to its boom years of the 1970s and 1980s. Above all, as always with a Geoffrey Lewis novel, it is the deeply human story of the people who populate it as we follow their joys and pain through their own words.

With the ‘trilogy’ now up to four books, will we see any more of Mikey and Harriet, Steve and Ellie, and their children and extended families? ‘Well, I am wondering how they might have got on cruising the canals of the 1980s...’ Watch this space!

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781909551138
Publisher:
SGM Publishing
Publication date:
05/01/2012
Series:
Michael Baker Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
File size:
1 MB

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Read an Excerpt

A CAST OF CHARACTERS!

The people who populate this book, at least to begin with, are those from The New Number One, the last book of my ‘Michael Baker’ trilogy. I suspect many of you will have read those books, but I think it might be useful if I remind you of who they all are, and how they fit together.

You will meet many new characters in this book – but they will fit in as my story progresses! What follows here is a quick explanation of the central families as they were in August 1957, and how they all inter-relate. On the boats, people and families were often intertwined in quite complex ways – ‘a bit of relation’ was a common way of describing someone who was connected with you in some slightly distant fashion that would have otherwise taken a lot of explanation!

I hope you will remember the names that follow with affection and sympathy from the other books:

Michael Henry Baker: ‘Mikey’, 28 years old, the ‘boy off the bank’ who was ‘adopted’ by old Alby Baker (Boatman, now deceased) after running away from home in 1940. Previously known as Michael Thompson.

Harriet Baker: 27, Michael’s wife, daughter of Henry and Suey Caplin (Boaters)

Caroline Baker: ‘Carrie’, 20, born Caroline Martin, ‘adopted’ into the Baker family after the death of her parents in a boating accident.

Albert Baker: ‘Alby’, 7, son of Michael and Harriet.

Susan Baker: ‘Susie’, 5, daughter of Michael and Harriet.

Frederick Baker: ‘Freddie’, 2, their second son.

Samuel Caplin: ‘Sam’, 23, brother to Harriet.

Virginia Caplin: ‘Ginny’, 23, his wife, and sister to Michael.

William Hanney: ‘Bill’, 61, ex-Boatman and ‘uncle’ to Michael.

Violet Hanney: ‘Vi’, 60, wife to Bill.

Joshua Hanney: ‘Josh’, 18, born Joshua Martin, sister to Caroline, ‘adopted’ as an orphan by Bill and Vi.

Steven Hanney: ‘Stevie’, 27, ex-boater, best friend of Michael and second son of Bill and Vi.

Eleanor Hanney: ‘Ellie’, 25, wife to Steven, born ‘on the bank’ in Knowle, Warwickshire.

Grace Hanney: ‘Gracie’, 7 months, daughter of Steven and Eleanor.

William Hanney: ‘Billy’, 32, boatman, oldest son of Bill and Vi.

Sylvia Hanney: ‘Sylvie’, 30, wife to Billy, born ‘on the bank’ in Alperton, West London.

Emily Hanney: ‘Emmie’, 8, daughter of Billy and Sylvie.

William Hanney: ‘Little Bill’, 6, son of Billy and Sylvie.

Violet Hanney: 3, second daughter of Billy and Sylvie.

Joseph Caplin: ‘Joe’, 35, oldest son of Henry and Suey (ex- boaters) and brother to Harriet and Samuel.

Grace Caplin: ‘Gracie’, 34, his wife and daughter of Bill and Vi Hanney.

Jack Caplin: 12, oldest son of Joe and Grace.

Rose Caplin: ‘Rosie’, 10, daughter of Joe and Grace.

Gabriel Caplin: 8, second son of Joe and Grace.

Henry Caplin: 6, third son of Joe and Grace.

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