BOOKS: Cold Pastoral

The Story. The George was King George III. The Crown was Queen Anne's Crown. They faced each other across the only street of Bullockdean in Sussex-the one a dilapidated pub for sharkies and such, the other a tavern frequented by the county quality.

Tom Shearer, whose wife, sharp of nose and tongue, came from Péche à Agneau in the island of Sark, ran the George. Daniel, his son, was the friend of Ernley Munk, the heir to the Crown.

When Belle Shackford, the lovely, tawdry, easy daughter of a failing tenant farmer, became engaged to Daniel after Ernley had thrown...

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