Introductory Matter

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This story contains scenes with normal interpersonal sexual activity, either through references and allusions or through light descriptions. All of these are necessary for developing the characters and moving the plot forward. Though some eighteenth-century ladies might have blushed at these, today's normal thirteen-year-old wouldn't be fazed.

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Although this is a piece of fiction, most of the geographic and historic backgrounds are real, as are some of the characters. They are depicted in the settings, at the times and with the appointments and positions shown in the historical records, though their interactions in this story are fictional.

The cover image is a 1680 painting by the Dutch master, Willem van de Velde, the Younger. He had moved to London in 1673, where he was engaged by King Charles II to create paintings of naval battles. He was also patronized by various members of the nobility.

 He was also patronized by various members of the nobility

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Please be aware as you read this story that it is written in the language of the second quarter of the eighteenth century. English at that time consisted of only forty thousand words, and some of their spellings and meanings differ from our current ones. Contractions were rarely used at that time except among the vulgar, so my dialogues may seem stiff, though not as stiff as Shakespeare's of a century and a quarter earlier. My chosen style differs from that of Jane Austen three-quarters of a century after my story is set, and I hope mine is seen as less awkward.

In 2009, the one-millionth word was added to the English language, so I have restricted myself to using only four percent of the words available. Culling the other ninety-six percent is a labour of love, so please point out any usages you find to be non-historic.

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Copyright © 2019 by Michael Walsh

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means, including but not limited to: photocopying, scanning, recording or information storage and retrieval, without permission in writing from the author.

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