Master Cornhill is a 200 page novel first published in 1973 and written by the acclaimed writer for children and adults Eloise Jarvis McGraw, author of The Newbery Honor novel The Moorchild. The summary by Atheneum reads as follows:
Before the Great Plague swept London in 1665, eleven-year-old foundling Michael Cornhill had led a sheltered, happy life with his foster family and seldom wondered about the parents he had never known. Sent hastily from the city when his foster mother succumbed to the dread plague, Michael survived; but eight months later when he returned, all his family and friends had perished. Homeless and penniless, he brooded now about his unknown origins and worried about his future. Two new friends made life possible for him-Tom Godfrey, a carefree young man who sang ballads on street corners for a living, and Susanna, a sturdily independent girl who kept house for an old Dutch map-maker. Though Michael liked helping Tom sell ballads, he knew-and Susanna often reminded him-that this was not really the way to spend the rest of his life. Then another disaster struck the ancient city. A fierce conflagration, known to history as the Great Fire of London, swept everything before it in a gigantic holocaust. How Michael and Tom struggled through it, attempting to reach Susanna and the old map-maker, and how Michael found the direction his life should eventually take, make up the concluding section of this absorbing story, brimming with authentic detail and swift in its dramatic conclusion. For its fascinating portrait of England in a time of crisis no less than for its powerful narrative and compelling story of friendship and courage, this is a book of lasting value.
- 1973 Eloise Jarvis McGraw
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