A tale of love, artistry and true devotion. Nothing in Hester Needham's beginnings suggested that she would become one of the most noted silversmiths of her time. She was just another insignificant orphan, poor and illiterate, in the teeming streets of London. It was love that introduced her to the world of gold and silver working. John Bateman is the apprentice to goldsmith Stephen Harwood and all but the fiance of his daughter, Caroline. In him, Hester ignites feelings that are to disrupt his most deeply held ambitions and he is all that she most desires. The resolution to Hester and John's star-crossed love is only the beginning of a story of determination and struggle, based on the remarkable life of one indomitable woman.
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ROSALIND LAKER is the author of many novels, including ""To Dance with Kings"" and ""The Golden Tulip,"" She lives in England.
""From the Trade Paperback edition.""From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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