My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Just arrived from USA through BM.
This is the first volume of the Swann Family Saga series in the period of 1857 to 1866.
After returning from the wars in the Crimea and India, Adam Swann decided to leave the army and started his own business – “Swann-on-Wheels”. The company’s name was suggested by Henrietta Rawlinson, daughter of a local mill owner, who will become his beloved wife.
Their life will change drastically after a train crash. By coincidence or not, the Swann’s family just met the famous British writer Charles Dickens who was already well-known at that time.
The title of this book comes from Adam’s returning to England after a very painful period of his life, in the quay of Calais, “where he saw every other ship flew the British flag and quays were piled with packing cases, some of them stenciled with names he recognized.” (page 781)
A lot of British writers are mentioned along this book in addition to Charles Dickens, such as Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, Charlotte Mary Yonge, Wilkie Collins. However, a special attention is given to East Lynne by Mrs. Henry Wood with is cited several times along the narrative and was mostly related to Henrietta character while the firs ones were related to their children’s education.