Paper and Rags

The paper gleamed. Sunlight illuminated its millions of fibres, the fragments of discarded clothing. Each fleck held a tale. Remnants of earlier generations fused into a new beginning. The next story…

Paper and Rags, sequel to Bottle and Glass, is set to launch in Kingston on Sunday, Dec. 8th, 2PM-4PM at the Kingston Brew Pub.  A Toronto launch is taking place on Sunday, Nov. 10th, 2:30PM – 4:30PM at the Supermarket Restaurant and Bar in Kensington Market.

Paper and Rags follows the stories of many of the characters first introduced in Bottle and Glass, as they struggle to make lives for themselves in post-war Kingston, a time when civil unrest and political reform simmer. Young Jeremy Castor, forced into the Royal Navy by a press gang, is discharged and cast adrift. To survive and support his ailing mother, he must make difficult choices about how to earn a living. Along the way he meets three strong, beguiling women — Amelia, Lilac, and Lenore — each breaking from society’s shackles in her own unique way. The four become entwined with the mysterious Dr. Scriven who has come to Kingston from England to escape his shameful past. Scriven decides that founding a newspaper is the only way of setting his personal record straight.  In the face of a severe paper shortage, Jeremy and the others come together, sacrificing the very shirts from their backs, to make the paper that will see Scriven’s truth in print. Even so, the eventual discovery of Scriven’s secret and its publication in the local Gazette changes their lives forever.


It’s fake news.


That’s the first thing you should know.  What that coward insinuated about me in the Gazette isn’t true.


Who is Opprobrious? What vexes him? Surely my sartorial luster should be cause for celebration, not persecution. And, if one can’t reinvent oneself in the colonies, then where? It is the same for the other misfits. Young Jeremy Castor, uncomplicated and sweet, one step ahead of starvation. Amelia Spafford, seeking that rarest of female commodities; to be taken seriously. Lilac Evans, a physician in a whore’s frock. We all want to tell our stories, to express our truth.


But the shortage!  Without paper, we are silenced.


Send your rags and unwanted papers. Any scrap will do. I’m prepared to sacrifice my very own wardrobe to make the paper.  My best kerchiefs and cravats. Everything.


You, and everyone else, must know the truth. To that young man in the attic, I provided comfort and nothing else.


With my sincerest gratitude,


Dr. C. Scriven