Saturday 27 October 2012

Jem Smeed from "A Devil's Dozen"

Jem Smeed  is 18 years old at the start of the story, although readers do not meet him until two years later, and 5'8" tall, with conker-brown hair, smoke-grey eyes and high cheekbones. He is running with another smuggling gang in North Kent, having deserted from the Marines when ordered to fire on a mutiny that resulted from a captain’s bad judgement. At sea since he was eleven, he found buggery an unofficial part of shipboard routine and soon discovered his own proclivities.

 from A Devil's Dozen by Marian Newell
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Book Description

28 April 2012
Violence, love, loyalty and betrayal among the smugglers who terrorise the coasts of southern England.  For years the Aldington Blues and the Burmarsh Gang have fought each other over the lucrative smuggling trade in Kent.  The rivalry was bitter and the stakes were high.  Now the feud between the two smuggler leaders, George Ransley and James Hogben, is played out in deadly earnest. While their men grow rich, fall in love or gamble away their loot, the intense struggle between Ransley and Hogben follows a twisted route through bloodshed, treachery and wealth. But times are changing and the spectre of the gallows hangs over them all when a popular naval officer is killed by a smuggler. As the government men close in, the gangs join forces. But will it be enough to stave off defeat, capture and death?Meticulously researched and based on contemporary court papers and other records, “A Devil’s Dozen”
recreates the vanished world of the smugglers who were once the kings of the British underworld.

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