The door was kicked open and Rebecca was carried into the cottage. Mary and Ned watched in horror as her body, limp and bedraggled, was carried up the narrow stairs and laid on the bed. It was 1831 - a time of great unrest in England - and tragedy loomed on the estate of Thornhall Manor. This is a tale steeped in the atmosphere of those pre-Victorian days - the inns with their foaming tankards and buxom serving wenches; the coaches and horses and travelling tinkers on rutted, muddy lanes; the good-natured blacksmith, accused of murder and transported to the penal colony in Botany Bay; and the sinister, grasping Peter Nesbit, forever plotting and scheming . . .
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