In 1854 Whitstable diver, John Deane was recruited by the Admiralty to assist in the Crimean War. He was a 54 year-old widower and recognised as the most expert ‘submarine engineer’ in the country. He left his younger children in Whitstable in the care of the 27 year-old daughter of close friends, the Brownings with whom he was living at the time.
John and Sarah Ann Browning corresponded frequently during his time in Crimea. Their growing affection for each other is evident as time progressed. It is likely that they sent over 70 letters each. Sadly only a small proportion survive, all of which are included in this book. Most are the letters from Sarah Ann.
Whilst John Deane’s letters provide a privileged insight into the Royal Navy operations in the Crimea, the Sea of Azoff and the destruction of the Sebastopol Docks. Sadly only a few of Deane’s letters have survived. Sarah Ann’s not only document her growing affection for her ‘ever dear friend’ but also provide a fascinating glimpse into community life in Whitstable in the mid-nineteenth century.
200 pages, colour and black and white illustrations throughout.
148 mm x 210mm (approx. 6 in x 8.25 in). 400g.
2020, John Bevan, UK
ISBN 978 9998221 1 8