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Home Books Fiction The Silk Merchant’s Son

The Silk Merchant’s Son


By Peter Burke

In 1845, linguistics professor Fabrice Cleriquot is despatched from Lyon to the Swan River Colony, sent away with a box full of silkworms to stop him from bringing more disgrace upon the family. Accompanying him on board the Elizabeth are twenty-eight mismatched and misguided Catholic missionaries including Dom Salvado, who seeks to create a Spanish Benedictine monastery deep in the bush, and the Irish Sisters of Mercy, who are fleeing a dreadful famine.

Given the job of distributing a huge donation from a wealthy benefactress, Fabrice bears witness to the folly of his travelling companions whose presumptuous attempts to rescue the colony and the original inhabitants from themselves, can only lead to tragedy.

ISBN: 9781760991678
Dimensions: 23.4x15.3cm
Pages: 400
Publication year: 2023
Publisher: Fremantle Press


About the author:

Peter Burke is a Perth doctor and writer of Western Australian historical fiction, his novels being enjoyed for their filmic quality and humour. Professionally, he divides his time between Murdoch University medical clinic and the hospitals of the Kimberley region of the North West. His first novel, The Drowning Dream, was shortlisted for both the Australian / Vogel Literary Award and the WA Premier’s Book Awards. The Silk Merchant’s Son is his third novel.