The Horseman’s Desire opens against the backdrop of great upheaval in 19th century England. Five years earlier, Queen Victoria had inherited the throne from the last of the Georgians (William IV), and the wild Regency period slowly yielded to an advancing Victorian morality.
Emma Turpin was born into a time when cities were open pits of gambling, prostitution, public drunkenness, murder, and suicide, and as an orphaned workhouse baby, she was simply a product of the age. Raised in the workhouse system, she was educated, clothed and eventually released into a new era; one that promised great industrial riches, but which offered little reward for the commoner.
As our story begins, Emma is a 23-year-old lady’s maid in a small Devonshire village, a community untouched by the Industrial Revolution but fighting the ravages of a thirty-year downturn in agricultural prosperity. As in countless thousands of English villages, the local doctor and the church formed the nucleus of morality and compassion. The gentry are separated from reality, the middle classes are the village’s business operators and farm owners, and the working classes are generally illiterate and mindful of the great divide between the haves and the have-nots.
As Victoria and Albert spearheaded Great Britain’s advance from kingdom to empire, a few brave souls dared to dream that they could one day put their humble origins behind them and stand upright and proud. Emma Turpin, mere woman, is about to do just that ………