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The Pedestrian

A Novel of the Age of Steam
A novel by



for readers of Fingersmith, Pillars of the Earth and As the Crow Flies
from the bestselling author of Rotten Gods and Savage Tide (HarperCollins) and Whistler's Bones (Stories of Oz)

670 page paperback
Stories of Oz Publishing

The rise and fall of the tides on the Thames River … the cycling of a steam engine and the tick of a clock … The Pedestrian is the story of a man who comes from humble beginnings to fulfill a dream; of a lifelong love affair and of a family coming of age in a period of rapid change.

ABC Radio: ��Both supremely intelligent and written at breathtaking pace.”

Frederick Morton is a talented athlete and a natural engineer, born into the worst slums of East London. Fated to poverty, he buries his mother from cholera before his teens. Is there any way for Frederick to rise above his humble beginnings and follow the profession that he loves?

THE AUSTRALIAN: “… the pace is excellent, the writing is sharp and Barron has a real talent for the evocation of place.”

As a child, Frederick Morton lives with his broken family in a Stepney slum, mudlarking on the Thames riverbank to survive. Through the sponsorship of Lord Bartholomew Forgill, Frederick gains a top-notch education. One night, however, staying at the Forgill residence, he witnesses a distressing incident that will haunt him through the years.

At twenty-five, now an engineer in Lord Forgill’s steam engine company, Frederick falls for Clare, a young Frenchwoman. Forced to defend his suit with a 300-kilometre trek from Paris to the sea, Frederick discovers a talent for the Victorian-era sport of Pedestrianism.

When Forgill’s son Percy terminates Frederick’s employment, the former slum-dweller establishes his own stationary engine factory, part-funded by prize money from pedestrian competitions. While Percy plots their downfall, the next generation of Mortons travel to Africa and Australia, marketing their innovative engines. The family stakes everything on a public float, while Clare delves into the Forgill family��s secrets.

The Pedestrian is a journey through another age, seen through the eyes of a family involved in a pivotal industry. It celebrates the power of engineering, explores a fatal rivalry, and condemns the inhuman cycle of intergenerational poverty.

CANBERRA TIMES: 'Barron echoes the work of authors such as MacLean, Clancy and Ludlum.'
Genre: Historical

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