Field Lane

John Sodeau

Streets of Dickens Trilogy

Charley Bates was an outsider. Always the third wheel to the Artful Dodger and Oliver Twist’s double-act in Fagin’s gang. Then he became the redeemed thief who managed to turn himself into ‘the merriest young grazier in the whole of Northamptonshire.’ But would he remain on the straight and narrow or go back to his criminal ways? What he needed was a mission to keep himself honest. And then he got one: a chance to bring justice to bear on a villain from his past, Monks, the half-brother of Oliver Twist. Getting even would mean a trip from the Thames to the Mississippi and help from old friends to right the wrongs done by the ‘creature’ as Charley thought of him.

Field Lane reflects a 19th century world filled with social injustice, slavery, drug abuse and Royal privilege. Its fictional characters become intertwined with real-life historical figures such as the Duchess of Kent (the mother of Queen Victoria), the scientist Michael Faraday and Sam Clemens, the boy who would become Mark Twain. At the climax justice is served in line with Charles Dickens’ wish. But by whom?


Field Lane could not have been written without the legacy works of these two authors. We are all in their debt.

Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens' signature
Mark Twain
Mark Twain's signature