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Shanty the Blacksmith; a Tale of Other Times   By: (1775-1851)

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Shanty the Blacksmith: A Tale of Other Times by Mrs. (Mary Martha) Sherwood is a captivating historical fiction that takes readers on a journey to a bygone era. Set in a quaint village, the story revolves around Shanty, a talented blacksmith with a heart of gold.

Mrs. Sherwood’s writing style is nostalgic, perfectly capturing the essence of the time period. Through vivid descriptions, she transports readers to an idyllic countryside, where Shanty's forge becomes the focal point of the community. The author's attention to detail is commendable, as she expertly builds the world in which Shanty resides.

The character development in this novel is exceptional. Shanty is an endearing protagonist, characterized by his resilience, compassion, and unwavering dedication to his craft. Despite facing numerous challenges, Shanty remains steadfast in his pursuit of excellence. Mrs. Sherwood skillfully molds the supporting characters as well, each contributing their unique charm to the narrative.

One of the strengths of this story lies in its exploration of themes such as loyalty, family, and societal expectations. The relentless pressure faced by Shanty to conform to societal norms is a prominent thread throughout the book. Mrs. Sherwood thoughtfully delves into the impact of these expectations on an individual, providing readers with a thought-provoking commentary on the importance of staying true to oneself.

While the pacing of the book is generally steady, there are instances where the narrative feels slightly repetitive, which can be a minor drawback. However, Mrs. Sherwood's ability to maintain the suspense and engage readers outweighs this minor flaw. The plot is well-structured and offers some unexpected twists and turns, keeping readers intrigued until the very end.

Overall, Shanty the Blacksmith: A Tale of Other Times is a heartwarming and evocative novel that transports readers to a bygone era. Mrs. Sherwood's beautiful prose, compelling characters, and thought-provoking themes make this book a worthwhile read for lovers of historical fiction.

First Page:

SHANTY

THE

BLACKSMITH;

A TALE OF OTHER TIMES

BY MRS. SHERWOOD.

1852.

SHANTY

THE

BLACKSMITH.

It was during the last century, and before the spirit of revolution had effected any change in the manners of our forefathers, that the events took place, which are about to be recorded in this little volume.

At that period there existed in the wild border country, which lies between England and Scotland, an ancient castle, of which only one tower, a few chambers in the main building, certain offices enclosed in high buttressed walls, and sundry out houses hanging as it were on those walls, yet remained. This castle had once been encircled by a moat which had been suffered to dry itself up, though still the little stream which used to fill it when the dams were in repair, murmured and meandered at the bottom of the hollow, and fed the roots of many a water plant and many a tree whose nature delights in dank and swampy soils. The verdure, however, which encircled this ancient edifice, added greatly to the beauty, when seen over the extent of waste and wild in which it stood. There can be no doubt but that the ancient possessors of this castle, which, from the single remaining barrier, and the name of the family, was called Dymock's tower, had been no other than strong and dangerous free booters, living on the plunder of the neighbouring kingdom of Scotland... Continue reading book >>




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