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Black Hearts in Battersea Paperback – Sep 27 1999


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Frequently Bought Together

Black Hearts in Battersea + The Wolves of Willoughby Chase + Nightbirds on Nantucket: Wolves of Willoughby Chase, #3: The Wolves of Willoughby Chase Series
Price For All Three: CDN$ 33.86

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Sandpiper; None edition (Sept. 27 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395971284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395971284
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 19.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #828,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A fantastic adventure story ... Highly entertaining" Sunday Telegraph "Joan Aiken is such a spellbinder" Evening Standard "A writer of wild humour and unrestrained imagination" Oxford Companion to Children's Literature "Joan Aiken is a marvel" -- Philip Pullman Guardian --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Joan Aiken, daughter of the American writer Conrad Aiken, was born in Rye, Sussex, England, and has written more than sixty books for children, including The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.

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By A Customer on May 29 2002
Format: Paperback
BLACK HEARTS IN BATTERSEA is written by Joan Aiken and takes place during the reign of King James III, near the beginning of the nineteenth century. The story is about a boy named Simon, an orphan, who travels to London to meet an old friend named Dr. Field who promised to teach Simon painting. When he reaches the house where Dr. Field is supposed to be lodging, all he finds is an annoying little girl named Dido Twite. The Twites' are the owner of the house, and they tell Simon that they have no clue who or where Dr. Field is. Confused, Simon decides to stay at their house for a while. Soon, he finds himself playing chess with the kind old gentleman who is the Duke of Battersea, taking Dido to the fair, and meeting a boy named Justin. Justin is also an orphan and is in the middle of preparing to be the next Duke of Battersea. Dido starts to like Simon and tells him that she knows what happened to Dr. Field, but she cannot tell him. Simon starts to think Mr. Twite is one of the people who wants to overthrow good King James and the Duke and Duchess of Battersea. He also thinks Mr. Twite has something to do with the mysterious disappearance of Dr. Field. It seems that everywhere the Duke and Duchess go, they experience mishaps: a fire at the opera house, a wrecked ship, attacking wolves, and poisonous mince pies. With the help from Sophie, Simon's old friend and the Duchess' maid, they are all saved from the accidents. The accidents sound strange to everyone, and Simon thinks they were purposeful.
However, many of the people who are against King James feel that Simon is dangerous and is ruining their plot. One night Mr. Twite and some other men kidnap Simon, but Dido sees them. She follows them and meets Justin on the way, and they both follow the kidnappers to a ship, called the "Dark Dew".
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Format: Hardcover
I would strongly recommend this book and all the books in this series to anyone who likes reading faux-historical fiction. The characters are wonderfully drawn (WONDERFULLY) and Joan Aiken's imagination is boundless. Regardless of your age, this is a book to be treasured. The characters are extremely believable and fully developed, and I just thought it was refreshing and nice to see a portrait of the English nobility (true, they're all fictional, but still) that is eccentric, kindly and down to earth, unlike today's real life example. The book is by turns action packed, hilarious and compassionate. It reminded me (for all you Les Mis freaks out there) of Les Misérables, at least insofar as the characters are concerned. Simon could be Marius, the Twites, the Thénardiers... Well, read it, and you will like it!
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By A Customer on May 15 2001
Format: Paperback
Joan Aiken was one of my favorite writers as a child. As I was cleaning my bookshelves the other day, I noticed a copy of Blackhearts and immediately sat down to read it again. As a child I enjoyed Aiken's plot; the events that occur aren't plausible in a realistic fashion but they do fit in nicely with the context. As well, Aiken certainly takes her readers to another time and another world: one where there are strict dividing lines between good and evil. The characters in Blackhearts are wonderful from Simon to Dido to Sophie. And if the ending seems a bit too perfect, well, it certainly fits in with the incredulous problems the characters faced throughout. Aiken's children's books are completely delightful, with this one no exception.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is an awesome addition to the Wolves of Willoghby Chase. Although, Bonnie and Sylvia Green have a very small part in the story, this book is even more suspensful than its predecessor. Simon returns to study Painting with Dr. Field at an art academy in London. In London we meet many new and exciting characters, Dido Twite, a poor child who craves adventure and Simons's affection, Sophie, the lady-in-waiting for the Duchess of Battersea, and many others. There are other books besides this one. Make sure to read them all. An excellent series to read aloud to a Fifth or Sixth Grade class. They just die when you stop right before the climax of a part. It really captures their attention.
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By A Customer on May 12 2000
Format: Hardcover
I easily prefered this to the earlier "Wolves," asboth characters and plot complications seemed vastly more original(not the resolution, mind, not that that's a problem).
Aiken's prose is crisp, carefully-chosen, and effective, and Dido Thwite is foremost amongst a cast of unusual supporting characters. The Dickensian flavour continues in this, the best of the three.
Note: 3 stars, for me, is a pretty good review. 4 is for extremely distinguished works, and 5 only for those I consider classics. Most of what is published is, unfortunately, a 2 or less.
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Format: Paperback
Although this book is a sort-of sequel to the wonderful 'The Wolves of Willoughby Chase' it's really the beginning of an alternative-history cycle in a Britain where James II was never overthrown by William III. The nefarious efforts of 'Hanoverians' to unseat the Stuarts is the engine which propels the plots of this and the next 3 novels.
Simon, the artistic gooseboy in TWoWC, is the hero of this novel, which introduces Dido Twite, who goes on to star in the next two novels; 'Nightbirds on Nantucket' and 'Dido and Pa'.
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