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It is London 1663 and science flourishes in a mini-Renaissance. Celia Barber shares her father’s shop; he barbers, and she heals during a time when women are not allowed to practice medicine.
As a licensed barber, Celia longs to visit the Royal Society or Surgeon’s Hall to see a dissection, but women are not allowed. She befriends a viscount who sneaks her into the Royal Society, where she sees an experiment and meets Robert Hooke, the great scientist of the day. Celia’s sister works as a domestic in Whitehall Palace, who finds an ancient coin. Will it lead to hidden treasure?
Life in London is harsh. People sicken and die easily. As a healer, Celia sees tragedy. She cannot save all who come to her. Hardest of all, will she be able to save her brothers?
Review: The Barbers is a rollicking story set in England’s London of the 1660s. Katherine Pym has the practiced ability of telling history through her cleverly built characters—and of the ribald London before its great fire. You are taken up the Old City’s filthy lanes of corbelled houses to the puzzling mazes of Whitehall Palace, its bawdy revelry and intrigue. How do the two mix? Through the eyes and heart of a lass from within the old City walls, in the exciting brogue of the times, we are quite drawn into the traumas of those difficult times. A wonderful piece of work. Kev Richardson, Author of 15 Historical Fiction Novels