Edwardian England. When the sun shone brightly and the western world was at peace. But would the peace last? Far away, Japan was at war with Russia in 1905 and there the seeds of friendship were being sown which would eventually tear apart the Dawson family with their long naval tradition.
Back home in Dorset the Dawson family was growing up. Rear Admiral Ralph Dawson had retired from the Navy after nearly fifty years, and he and his devoted wife Harriet watched with affection as their six children grew up. The eldest, Jack, in his twenties, was already making a career in the Royal Navy, and had just returned from the Far East where he had witnessed the Japanese Navy’s destruction of the Russian fleet. There he met for the first time a young and likeable German naval officer Bruno von Eltz.
Georgina, Jack’s sister, also in her early twenties, already a rebel, falls for Bruno when he is later attached to the German Embassy in London, and falling under his spell betrays herself, her family, her fiancé and finally her country. Jack is blamed for the treason and is outcast by his family. He becomes enmeshed with Helene, Bruno’s sister, nearly falling for her treacherous wiles as she offers him her body in return for the plans of Britain’s latest mighty ship the Dreadnought.
In their different ways, Georgina and Jack pay for their transgressions and the happiness of the Dawson family is split apart as war looms ever nearer. As the war clouds gather, the triumphs and tragedies of the Dawson family entwine themselves with the fortunes of Bruno and Helene von Eltz, whose loyalties — strained and tested — lie with their duties to Germany.
Will the Dawson family survive this tumultuous time? Or will the days of wine and roses be forever gone?
Espionage, deceit, love, betrayal and death are all bound up in this poignant narrative, with its exciting and stirring naval scenes. The tranquility of Edwardian England with its village cricket matches, strawberries and cream teas, fades into the noise and brutality of war with rivers of blood and the bitter taste of wanton destruction and unnecessary death.
Author: Christopher Nicole
Title: Days of Wine and Roses
Series: The Dawson Saga
First Published by: Severn House
Date: 28 March 1991