Black Jack

Black Jack

  • Paperback
By (author)  , Illustrated by 

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An exciting story about Bartholomew Dorking who finds his life entangled with that of the murderous villain, Black Jack. Bartholomew goes from the streets of London to a travelling circus, but nothing he can do can set him free from the looming shadow of Black more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 135 x 216mm | 265g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • b&w illustrations
  • 0192718703
  • 9780192718709

Review Text

A villainous giant who clogs his throat to fool the Tyburn hangman, Black Jack "wakes" in the house of Mrs. Gorgandy, a professional widow who disposes of her poor husbands' bodies to the highest (medical) bidder. Forcing Bartholomew Dorking (!), Mrs. Gorgandy's unwitting corpse-sitter, to flee with him, Black Jack starts on a trail of vintage eighteenth century vagabondage filled with the excessive characters and outlandish situations that Garfield knows best. "Tolly" is a timorous soul but he has the where-withal to find in Belle, the "poor thing" escaped from a one-way trip to the madhouse, a staunch tenderness and fine wit. That makes this kind of a love story but the tone is so unlike conventional romance that even confirmed misogynists won't realize they're being roped in. The scenes are filled with gutsy types and behind them all are the revivalistic, judgmental predictions for April 5 (incidentally, the English income tax deadline). Remarkably fluent, with much to say (implicitly) about madness, even more about impulsive gestures, all in period idioms. A Fieldingesque funhouse. (Kirkus Reviews)show more