Janiana and Henry Hocking of Falmouth, England are in a terrible way. The spring rains and summer heat have all but destroyed their annual crops. Making matters worse is the hurricane that sweeps over the island that fall of 1859. Together with their equally poor neighbors, Clive and Harriet Murley, they struggle against the weather and the manorial system under Queen Victoria.The hurricane is a blessing in disguise, for it provides an escape from their impasse. The Cheryl Belle, a sailing ship caught by the storm in the Channel, takes refuge in Falmouth Harbor. Through great effort and no small amount of luck, the families book passage to New York on the ship. Disease, hardship, and personal tragedy curse the voyage, but they emerge to begin a new life in a new country. Narrated by a most unusual character, and punctuated by a cavalcade of succinct commentaries, Fleeing Falmouth is a rich source of nineteenth century English history. Immerse yourself in it to learn how the families go on to farm once more, only to be torn apart by yet another calamity in their new home.
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by Carl Mcclure
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