In the British-held colony of Virginia, there is celebration when France loses her hold on Canada in 1759.The town of Caxton is growing, expanding to meet a future that includes the profitable sale of tobacco crops, as well as other goods in trade. The Crown rules from afar, and most colonists are content to operate under arcane and ambiguous laws that rule their lives.
But freedom is in the air, and young Virginian landowners are questioning their obligations to a government that considers them less-than-full British citizens. New landowner Hugh Kenrick is one of these; he has recently purchased a tobacco plantation that needs excessive restoration after years of mismanagement. Jack Frake, his closest neighbor, is of similar mind. Frake has maintained a low profile, keeping his political opinions to himself, but as relations with Britain are more strained, both Frake and Kenrick find themselves allied.
Europe is experiencing considerable intellectual upheaval and, despite the Church’s interference, printing presses churn out bodies of work espousing new philosophies to the world at large, exploring innovative ideas that have the potential to alter the opinions of the common man - writers such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Hume, and the Pennsylvanian Benjamin Franklin. For their part, the planters of Queen Anne County consider themselves aristocrats of a sort, content with their lot. It is up to Jack Frake and Hugh Kenrick to lend their resources to the changes they envision, as America moves towards its eventual separation from England.
This is the third volume in the Sparrowhawk series, history as lived via Frake and Kenrick on their various adventures. More character-driven than the first two installments, Book III: Caxton is about life in the colonies on the irrevocable path toward the American Revolution. This is rich episodic history, written from Edward Cline’s viewpoint, with a wealth of details, both European and American. The two pivotal Sparrowhawk characters come together, leading the charge to finally challenge British taxation and regulation.