The families face new challenges as the Victorian Age arrives. It is a new era but many of the old problems persist; food prices remain high, the poor remain hungry and the threat of civil unrest is ever-present. Furthermore, the health of the people is endangered as the cities grow but are unable to cope with swelling populations. The overcrowding increases the risk of deadly diseases, and wealth and social standing afford no guarantee of immunity. Books best read in series order.
About the series:
The highly acclaimed A Poor Man at the Gate series follows the fortunes of young Englishman Tom Andrews, a petty smuggler turned ‘pirate’ and his friend Joseph Star, a part-Carib freed slave. After making a small but illicitly gained fortune aboard a privateering ship in the Caribbean and later in New York at the time of the Revolutionary War, they are betrayed and forced to flee to England.
They settle in industrial Lancashire at the beginning of the first great industrial boom; as unscrupulous businessmen they quickly become very rich. Wealth allows Tom to buy a landed estate where he hopes to be accepted by the local aristocratic families. This expansive and meticulously-researched historical saga tells of Tom and Joseph’s triumphs and disasters as they aspire to create powerful dynasties to rival any in England.