The Orphanmaster

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A dozen long knives, a dozen jackknives. Five staves lead. Twenty pounds powder. A hundred ells cloth, red and plaid. These were almshouse cases, burdens on the public purse in Patria.

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New Netherland felt the dire need of willing hands, lots of them, to make the colony work. The population of Europe was not yet convinced that decamping for a rocky, windswept island in America would improve their lot. Life in Holland proved all too comfortable.

The new coffee houses were just coming in, joining the tobacco houses already there. The cheese was as good as ever.

The Orphanmaster: A Novel of Early Manhattan (Paperback)

No one wanted to leave. Aet Visser recruited his orphan charges from three sources.

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Deaths of parents in the colony, deaths of parents on transocean voyages to the colony and these orphan shipments from Patria. Fortune proving to be a rascally mistress, the pool of orphans never dried up.

The Orphanmaster

No orphanages existed in New Amsterdam. The boys would be taken in by settlement families who needed laborers and servants.

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Are they being taken by a human villain? Or is an evil spirit to blame?

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Meanwhile, war looms as the English king plans to wrest control of the colony. Jean Zimmerman brings New Amsterdam and its surrounding wilderness alive for modern-day readers with exacting period detail. Lively, fast paced, and full of colorful characters, The Orphanmaster is a dramatic page-turner that will appeal to fans of Hilary Mantel and Geraldine Brooks. Genre: Historical Mystery. Please email webmaster fantasticfiction.