“About ‘Jack Dawkins-being the further adventures of the Artful Dodger’ by Terry Ward:
A preamble provides the reader with Charles Dickens own account of the last appearance of the Artful Dodger, Jack Dawkins, in Oliver Twist.
The Prologue describes the public execution of Fagin.
A letter from the adult Jack Dawkins sets the period in which the events he is about to relate, took place.
There are tongue in cheek references to characters from Dickens’ novels.
A Glossary translates archaic words and provides brief facts about historical events, and figures.
The author provides a personal anecdote regarding his tenuous connection to extant members of Charles Dickens family.
After Mr Brownlow and Oliver Twist intervene to free Jack from Newgate Prison, the same grit and determination that has allowed him to survive on the streets of London, stand him in good stead when he embarks on a perilous quest to discover his roots. While doing so, he discovers his true self.
In bond to Brownlow, Jack is sent to a remote farm on Romney Marsh, where he promptly falls in love with Lysette Godden, the daughter of its philanthropic owner.
Jack is coerced into helping Webster, a ruthless smuggler, bring his goods in from the marsh during a devastating flood. Meanwhile, Webster’s evil colleague, Madeley, has kidnapped Lysette after murdering her father.
Shot by soldiers, the dying Webster absolves Jack from blame, leaving him free to rescue Lysette and a street urchin from the hands of Madeley.
Fortuitously, relatives of the rescued child provide Jack with information about his parents that send him on a clandestine trip to France, where Napoleon’s army is about to march on Brussels. Following her own agenda, the free-thinking Lysette, accompanies Jack; abandoning him when the opportunity arises for her to resume her platonic relationship with the son of a wealthy Frenchman who can provide her with the emancipated life style she dreams of.
Jack, struggles on alone until he finds his secret agent father. Together, they embark on a race against time to prevent the assassination of the Duke of Wellington. The hired assassin proves to be the man whose actions led to Jack becoming separated from his family.
Reunited with his parents and siblings, Jack pays a visit to Brownlow’s house and finds Lysette is there, waiting for him.
Disowned by her mother, Lysette is employed by Jack’s father and accompanies the Dawkins family when they set out for a new life in America. Before they depart, Jack picks Mr Brownlow’s pocket; stealing his watch as, ‘A little keepsake to remind me of the life I used to lead.’
Targeted Age Group: Male/Female 14+
Written by: Terry Ward
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In an attempt to escape from dire, Dickensian poverty, I had, thanks to school and mobile libraries, become an avid reader, long before, like some sort of latter-day David Copperfield, leaving home in order to make my own way in a world that has long since disappeared [see my autobiography ‘AS FAR AS I CAN REMEMBER’] Inspired by the likes of RL Stevenson, JB Priestley, Henry Williamson, Rudyard Kipling and many other great authors, I continued to write a plethora of naïve stories and poems.
The next thing I knew, I was in the army and being shot at by rebellious tribesmen in the wilds of the Aden Protectorate! Then, after service in Hong Kong [see my latest novel ‘BETWEEN CANCER AND CAPRICORN’] shadows from my past flit across its pages I volunteered for and was accepted into the elite, swashbuckling force, the Trucial Oman Scouts. To quote Joe Gargery, ‘What larks, Pip, old chap!’
Years later, it was my privilege to form the Trucial Oman Scouts Association and be its chairman for twenty-six years [see ‘ARE YOU THE MAN?’ a unique collection of memoirs and extremely rare photographs illustrating our life in the Seven Sheikhdoms].
World travel, love and marriage, two talented sons and three, equally talented grandchildren-a couple of medals, two ‘creative writing’ prizes and some awards for not poisoning too many people when I worked as a chef, in fact- riches galore!
Eventually, I was able to take early retirement from my position as a university’s Head of Hospitality Services, write my books and have them self- published. I saw no point in approaching publishers; you know, those types who, over the years, have rejected everything from ‘Animal Farm’ to ‘Zen and the Art of Motor-cycle Maintenance’.
My sequel to ‘Oliver Twist’, ‘Jack Dawkins-being the further adventures of the Artful Dodger’, has received five star reviews from readers and critics all over the world. American author, Anthony Avina, has stated that ‘it is a breath-taking and beautiful story that every reader will want to have in their lives.’ Go to it, then!
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