The Toll-Gate

The Toll-Gate

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The Toll-Gate

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Description:
The Toll-Gate is a Regency novel by Georgette Heyer, which takes place in 1817. Unlike many of Heyer's historical novels which concentrate on a plucky heroine, this one follows the adventures of a male main character, an ex-captain in the British Army who has returned from the Peninsular War and finds life as a civilian rather dull. The setting for this detective/romance story is in and around a Toll-Gate in the Peak District, vastly different from the elegant backgrounds of London, Bath, Brighton, or some stately home, which characterize most of Heyer's Regency novels.

Plot introduction

After acting as an aide-de-camp at the Battle of Waterloo, Jack Staple is finding civilian life tedious. Following a formal (and somewhat boring) dinner party in honour of his cousin's engagement, Jack sets out by himself on horseback to visit a more congenial friend some 60 miles away. After getting lost in the dark and rain he reaches a toll-gate where a frightened 11-year old lad is acting as toll collector in the absence of his father. A combination of curiosity, compassion, tiredness, and dampness lead him to stay at the toll house overnight with a view to sorting out the situation in the morning.

Over the next few days Jack's circle of acquaintances rapidly expands to include a highwayman, a Bow Street runner, and the local gentry plus their devoted retainers. Other complications include a dead body, stolen treasure,...
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