“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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