Rye in East Sussex Town Guide

Smugglers in Rye!

For anyone wanting to read a new novel about the Hawkhurst Gang of smugglers, try ‘Men of Sorrows’ by Mary-Elizabeth Thomas. I spent a year researching this facts which form the basis of this novel of adventure and illicit love on Romney Marsh in the early eighteenth century. It doesn’t read like a text book! It’s my interpretation of events. Would you rather work a week as a farm labourer for a shilling or earn two shillings for one night’s work on the 18th century version of a ‘booze-cruise’?
Please read my book. I would be delighted to hear from you!

5 responses to “Smugglers in Rye!”

  1.  avatar

    re your book “Men of Sorrows” I have just ordered from Amazon books, I am confident that I am descended from one of the Gray brothers, I reside in Australia and have a couple of avenues still open for research but would like to hear from you re actual facts on the Gray brothers, parents and descendants. Briefly I am des from John & Sarah Gray, Hawkhurst,their son William Arthur Grey and his wife Celia Eastwood, the latter immigrated to Australia 1859, have much more info.
    Ken Webb

  2.  avatar

    What a great book this was to read! Really enjoyed it, have you written any more. It would make an excelent film or TV series starring Jonny Depp!

  3.  avatar

    Thank you for your kind remarks. I’ve always thought the topic would make a great film/tv series!

  4.  avatar

    Hello Mary, I am yet to read your book but have read a snippet on Google and will be getting a copy soon. However, the purpose of my writing is to say that I am a direct descendant of Kirckman and would like to correspond with you regarding your research. I have much information concerning the family and would like to compare and understand if you have something that may be of use to me. Many thanks. Stephen Kirkman.

  5.  avatar

    Hello Stephen
    Thank you for getting in touch. I hope you will enjoy my novel! It’s great to hear from people who have a personal connection with characters I have drawn on. I did the research some years ago, which was quite meticulous so I will look up my research notes. I would be interested to hear your side of things. I use another e mail address now so if you would like to reply to me direct on that address, it is [email protected]

    Best wishes,


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