Plague Child

Plague Child

Peter Ransley / Feb 20, 2020

Plague Child September Plague cart driver Matthew Kneave is sent to pick up the corpse of a baby Yet on the way to the plague pit he hears a cry the baby is alive A plague child himself and now immune fr

  • Title: Plague Child
  • Author: Peter Ransley
  • ISBN: 9780007312351
  • Page: 230
  • Format: Hardcover
  • September 1625 Plague cart driver, Matthew Kneave, is sent to pick up the corpse of a baby Yet, on the way to the plague pit, he hears a cry the baby is alive A plague child himself, and now immune from the disease, Matthew decides to raise it as his own.Fifteen years on, Matthew s son Tom is apprenticed to a printer in the City Somebody is interested in him and is kSeptember 1625 Plague cart driver, Matthew Kneave, is sent to pick up the corpse of a baby Yet, on the way to the plague pit, he hears a cry the baby is alive A plague child himself, and now immune from the disease, Matthew decides to raise it as his own.Fifteen years on, Matthew s son Tom is apprenticed to a printer in the City Somebody is interested in him and is keen to turn him into a gentleman He is even given an education But Tom is unaware that he has a benefactor and soon he discovers that someone else is determined to kill him.The civil war divides families, yet Tom is divided in himself Devil or saint Royalist or radicalist He is at the bottom of the social ladder, yet soon finds himself within reach of a great estate one which he must give up to be with the girl he loves.

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      Posted by:Peter Ransley
      Published :2019-06-06T02:00:11+00:00

    About "Peter Ransley"

      • Peter Ransley

        Peter Ransley has written extensively for television His BBC adaptation of Sarah Waters s Fingersmith was nominated for a BAFTA for best series in 2006 and his ITV drama Falling Angel , starring Emilia Fox and Charles Dance, was screened in 2007 He is a winner of the Royal Television Society s Writer s Award.


    1. This one is not easy to review.On one hand you have a really good and well researched Historical novel, but on the other a poorly developed main character, Tom Neave, who never learns from his childish mistakes and one would expect him to given that you are often told how bright he is. Politically astute yet unable to control his own tongue or temper. The Mills and Boone quality of his romance with Anne I also found grating and the need to create a "and they all lived happily ever after" ending [...]

    2. This is quite a romp through the Civil War years (English). We follow a baby who has been retrieved alive from the plague pit. His life as he grows up becomes more and more entangled as he searches for his origins and parents.This is a book with much scope, many characters and a brisk pace. It catches you up from the beginning and keeps running on, lurching rather like a wagon out of control. The narrative twists so much at times I had to stop and think who was what and who did I believe and wha [...]

    3. I was asked to read this quite some time ago as part of a controlled group of 100 readers, to feedback on the writer, writing, style, the cover the plot etc It was a novel (excuse the pun) request and one i was happy to do for any debut book, and once i had started working my way into this gem a double pleasure.This is a period of history i avoid like the plague (again sorry not intending them they just keep happening) it was a subject they flogged to death at school, the plague, the civil war b [...]

    4. bbc/programmes/b006qtlxThis story was nice and the historical background was definitely interesting, still the characters or their story wasn't that awesome to be a four star book.

    5. Set during the tumultuous time of the English Civil War, this novel tells the story of Tom, a young man with a mysterious past. Tom is the plague child of the title. Consigned from birth to die in the plague pit, Tom is rescued by the man he subsequently believes to be his father. When he realises Matthew is not his father, Tom begins a quest to find the truth. The novel follows Tom from the stinking, crowded streets of London, where the tensions between Royalists and Parliamentarians simmer, to [...]

    6. Enjoyed the history side of this well written and interesting novel, but a bit too much romance for me, not that that's a bad thing , just not what I look for in a book. I definitely enjoyed reading about the civil war period but I felt it could have concentrated more on the politics of the period a bit more and the emotions of the characters a little less, also I'm not sure if Thomas's age was a factor but i couldn't work out why, one minute he would be nervous and tongue tied and the next a ra [...]

    7. This is a pretty good book for most of it, the historical detail of life as an apprentice to a printer in the time coming up to the Glorious Revolution was well drawn. But this is supposed to be historical fiction not history and the plot, with the interplay between the "bastard" child/grandchild and the wealthy family, is less well addressed. I keep reading these novels where character development and great plot seem to be missed and when you have these elements, the context and strong feel of [...]

    8. 9/10 for this one. It was a manuscript sent by Harper Collins to 100 readers. I loved it. It only doesn't have 10/10 as I found the ending a little bit too over the top. But it certainly doesn't do the book any harm.This is a story set in the first half of 17th century, about one boy that wants to find the truth about his parents - he has to become a man and face the reality of his parentage during some of the most difficult political times of that century. Very interesting - even though the mai [...]

    9. A present from a friend. It's a good, lively read for the most part. I preferred the first half, with its ambiguous characters and confusions over who was a goody/baddy. It reminded me a little of Fingersmith -- possibly not surprising as Peter Ransley wrote the screenplay for the TV adaptation. It was always engaging, but towards the end I began to tire of the frequent occasions when Tom faced certain death and then "with one bound he was free." The ending felt rather implausible. Still, I enjo [...]

    10. Ransley is being compared with Sansom by many reviewer. Like Sansom he builds his character environments so that you feel you are actually there; using vivid time sensitive language and by weaving historical fact into the story. Unfortunately Tom, the central character, does not have as much depth as Sansoms Shardlake. By the end of Plague Child, Tom has travelled far to discover who he is, but somehow I did not care, which surprised me. I am intrigued by Ransleys writing and will read his follo [...]

    11. A book set in the civil war period. Tom was a plague child a survivor of the plague who was saved. as a baby in the plague cart, on the way to the pit. He grows up and is apprenticed to a printer and joins the militia on the parliamentarian side. He becomes obsessed with finding his true family. This story is about family against family in true civil war tradition. The story like many of these tales is a bit far fetched. People rarely rise above their station. I enjoyed the read as you were kept [...]

    12. 3.5 starsThis book was alright. The story was interesting, the history seemed relatively accurate, the pace was right (for my liking).The main problem for me was the characters. I didn't like any of the major ones. Mr Black was alright. The only one I genuinely liked was a minor character (Sarah). Tom was waffling and petulant. I don't like those qualities in any character, let alone the protagonist. Additionally the peculiarities of the sentence structure in some places meant I found myself rea [...]

    13. Plague Child is an OK read. It’s relatively entertaining, even though the plot wasn’t the most original – bastard son grows up to reclaim his honour and gain a title – yawn!Another issue I had was that the novel could easily have been cut by 100 pages without affecting the story. Ransley seems to have dragged out the most basic scenes for as long as humanely possible for no reason other than meeting a page quotaRead More

    14. Disappointed by this one. Got good reviews, but too much plot and just couldn't relate too much to the characters, so won't read the next ones. Set in the Civil War, a mix of history, mystery and romance. The main character is somehow related to an aristocratic family, the bastard son of one of the males in the family, but we don't quite know who. He is sent to be apprenticed to a family of printers, where he becomes mixed up with Roundhead politics. A bit ho-hum

    15. Really enjoyed this book, beautifully written, well-paced and a great story. Its set in the run-up to and outbreak of the English Civil War. This is not a period I had read much on prior to picking up Plague Child, but Peter Ransley does a great job at bringing the issues that lead to the war & the factions involved alive without bogging the book down in heavy detail or losing pace.I am looking forward to the second book in this trilogy.

    16. I liked but not loved this book. I didn't really connect with any of the characters and started to wilt once I realised it was the first of a trilogy. I am glad it ended as it did so I do not feel I have to continue with the following books.I also didn't see the comparison to C.J.Sansom, who I think is a very good writer and this kind of missed the chance. The setting was great, it was fast paced but I just couldn't love it.

    17. This started off well but then just digressed into a ramble. Part of the problem, I think, was created by the first-person narrative which became pretty much a "he said-she said" continuation. I suspect Ransley would have been better served with a different editor to guide him along his first novel. But those just don't seem to exist anymore -- or, at least, the state of historical fiction seems to indicate it doesn't.

    18. I found this book a bit sketchy! Parts of it showed true writing brilliance others were obfuscated and unbalanced.I don't think I have ever read a book that inspired such conflicting emotions! If you like the genre then give it a go, its a pleasant enough read. If historical fiction is not your thing I wouldn't bother!

    19. If you like historical fiction, give this one a go! It follows a young man growing up in the time of the Roundheads and cavilliers discovering where he came from and finding his place in an uncertain world in the shadow of Cromwell. It's also a trilogy so plenty of reading to get lost in!

    20. This was a great book, kept me interested from start to finish. Was up for a change in crime novels and wanted something more of a classic. This was well written and a little bit of a King Richard history update with some fictional characters to boot.

    21. After a slow start - it took me almost 5 chapters to really get into the story - I was gripped. I have never read any books on this subject so it was a good introduction to it. I shall look forward to the next novel.

    22. Strives to be both historical and a mystery but comes up short on both counts - as a reader, there's just not enough connection to the characters to make the narrative feel compelling. Lackluster all around.

    23. a facinating and engaging account of a young man's search for the truth behind his birth and up bringing. Through the narative the author skillfully explores the social and political backdrop to the English civil war.

    24. Really atmospheric and interesting from a historical point of view as well as for the story of the characters. I didn't know much about the period it's set in but it made me curious and I'm looking forward to reading the next in the trilogy.

    25. I enjoyed this novel but at times the protagonist Tom Neave behaved like a spoiled confused 17 yr old instead of a young man whose future looked very promising. The plot was interesting and contained a few twists and turns. The remaining characters were well thought out and more realistic.

    26. This is a great story about a boy who over the years learns who his father is and where he stands in society of 1642 onwards. It is well written, with several plot twists and some historical background story parts. I enjoyed reading it!

    27. I loved this book it was dark and had lots of twists and turns but there was also some lighter parts with kindness and love being featured I can not wait to read the next one

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