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Haggard's Penn, Barbados, 1780.
John Haggard is the richest sugar planter in the West Indies, boasting a plantation big enough to be a town in its own right and two thousands slaves to work the fields.
Young, strong, handsome, and successful, he seems to live a charmed life.
But beneath the success lies a bitterness he cannot assuage. For a few brief, happy moments, his life was perfect - and then his beloved wife was taken away, leaving him with an infant son and an aching emptiness that he cannot fill.
Spurred into killing a man because of a woman's foolishness, Haggard is overwhelmed by a cruel desire to hurt women - any woman will do. Destined for the gallows, Emma Dearborn is exactly what he wants: beautiful, white, and wholly at his mercy.
At first terrified by her new master, over the years Emma grows to love Haggard. When she suggests they journey to England - her place of birth, though an entirely foreign land to him - Haggard seizes upon the idea, packing up Emma, his three children, and a bevy of black slaves and setting sail for Britain.
But London is vastly different than the world Haggard has always known. Polite society is scandalised by the idea of a man's mistress, and their issue, living openly with her master - that Emma is so far below Haggard socially makes the whole scenario that much more shocking. For the first time in Haggard's life, his vast wealth cannot buy him everything he desires.
Though interested in taking up his seat in Commons, Haggard swiftly moves his household to the country, where he hopes that a kinder eye will be cast upon the unusual family. But trouble swiftly begins to brew beneath the surface - slavery is outlawed in England, and Haggard's ownership of slaves rapidly becomes a serious point of contention.
Nor is that the only trial awaiting Haggard in his new life, as he struggles to balance the life he was born to with the life he is living. Haggard is a vivid, violent tale of power and intrigue, the story of a tragic man and the women he loved... and abused.
Again and again he asks himself: Are you a bad man, John Haggard?
'If Haggard is the taste of what is to follow... let's hope No. 2 and No. 3 won't be too long before they make an appearance!' - Book Buyer
Born in 1930, Christopher Nicole spent his early years in British Guiana and the West Indies - years that would later strongly influence much of his writing. Many of his fifty novels are historical with a West Indian background. While his well-known Caribee saga tells the history of the British West Indian plantocracy, Haggard tells instead the tale of those West Indian nabobs who returned to England - and the difficulties they encountered there.
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Used availability for Christopher Nicole's Haggard
March 1980 : UK Hardback
July 1981 : UK Paperback
August 1980 : USA Mass Market Paperback
November 1998 : UK Audio Cassette
May 2016 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition