The Silver Touch

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Based on the true story of Hester Bateman, an indomitable 18th century English silversmith, this novel by the veteran author of historical romance compassionately chronicles her life from age 12 to 83, as well as the triumphs and catastrophes befalling her six children. After her mother's death, Hester lives with relatives at their tavern. There, the lissome, vivacious girl attracts John Bateman, senior apprentice to a respected goldsmith named Harwood. Although he is courting Harwood's daughter and is expected to obey the rule of sexual abstinence imposed on all apprentices, John's fully reciprocated passion for Hester leads to her pregnancy. Outraged, Harwood expels and blacklists John, whose professional downfall follows his clandestine wedding to Hester. Despite poverty, the Batemans persevere heroically, then stabilize their finances when John sets up his own thriving shop, where he tutors Hester in the crafting of precious metals. While John's artistic stature grows, Hester absorbs his knowledge, rejoices when her sons enter the business and patiently observes her family's eventful lives unfold. Each of these lifelike, affectionately etched characters commands attention, as does Laker's quietly moving portrayal of the Bateman clan's passage through the eternal circuit of birth, marriage and death. July 3
Library Journal
A prolific author of historical romances, Laker has drawn upon the life of a real woman as the inspiration for her newest novel. Hester Bateman was a noted artisan in 18th-century London, and as portrayed by Laker, a determined, passionate woman. Overcoming hardships and tragedy, she learns the craft of silversmithing from her beloved husband, John. Together they raise a family and lay the foundation for a dynasty of artisans to follow. Strong, believable characters and rich historical detail have distinguished Laker's previous novels, and this one is no exception. A worthwhile addition to most popular fiction collections.Barbara E. Kemp, Washington State Univ. Lib., Pullman
School Library Journal
YA When readers first meet 12-year-old Hester Bateman in 1720, she is newly orphaned and unable to read but adept at sketching birds and flowers. By the end of her life, she is an accomplished silversmith and a shrewd London businesswoman and the first Bateman to register her trademark as an independent silversmith. Readers of historical romances will relish the colorful story of Hester's marriage and many children. Laker has built a solid reputation for novels rich in the details of a craftfurniture making, dress designing, or jewelry makingand now, in The Silver Touch, she succeeds at keeping readers interested in the methods Bateman used to achieve her elegant and simple style in domestic silver. Heartwarming genre fiction. Keddy Outlaw, Harris County Public Library, Houston
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780896212350
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 11/10/1992
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 551

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