The Empty Sleeve

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Author: Leon Garfield

Age Range: Young Teens

Period: 19th C

Genres:  Historical


Peter Gannet is apprenticed to a locksmith in Covent Garden. His twin, Paul, is left in Rotherhithe. Each has the other's ship-in-a-bottle, which is said to reflect the state of the owner's soul. As Peter becomes involved more deeply in misdemeanours in his attempt to run away to sea, so his ship falls apart. Peter also sees the ghost of a locksmith's apprentice. Finally Peter is framed for the murder of Lady Marriner, actually committed by Lord Marriner, but Paul arrives in time to help him out of his difficulty.


As atmospheric as most Leon Garfields, it runs to rather more vulgarity and sordidness than others: Lady Marriner is murdered because of her affair with Peter's master locksmith and the apprentices in Peter's street sneak out to console themselves with local ladies.

Tuesday 1st January 2002