The Moon Dancers

by John Pitman

Summer 1795: Roger Ellis is a newly promoted naval lieutenant who finds himself unexpectedly beached on shore and unable to secure a new berth. When Roger, a keen student of modern philosophy, and especially the European philosophy of enlightenment, is obliged to stay in London to be close to the Admiralty, he finds it hard to settle into a society which he sees as louche and self-centred. So, when he is encouraged by his friends to take a break from the city, he happily returns to his home village of Canewdon, an isolated place set deep within the Essex marshes, from whence he left at the age of twelve to go to sea.


Roger soon finds that the village is not quite as idyllic as he remembers, but when he reconnects with Elizabeth Saunders, a childhood friend now grown to be a beautiful but slightly wild young woman, it begins to look like this summer may be one of the most memorable of his life. As the weeks fly by Roger is drawn ever further into a hitherto unknown and totally unsuspected world of romance, superstition, sexuality, and danger that may well change his life forever.


John Pitman’s debut novel, a rumbustious tale of love, adventure, and general naughtiness set against a backdrop of food shortages and civil unrest, mischievously suggests some of the lengths that country folk might have been prepared to go to in order to ensure a successful harvest…


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About the Author

John Pitman read law at university before working as a traditional publisher for almost twenty years and as an online publisher for nearly the same again. When the pandemic struck he decided that enough was enough and retired from the world of work to spend more time with the people he loves and generally ‘find himself’. After teaching himself to play the guitar (very badly) and mucking about with shabby chic furniture for a while he decided to go back to his roots and publish a novel. The result was The Moon Dancers, an historical fantasy set in the heart of his native Essex. The Moon on the Water is John’s second novel which takes up the story seven years later and brings it to its exciting conclusion.


John lives in Chipping Ongar with his wife, Linda, and his cat, Foxy. He has one grown-up son, Tim, who lives up the road in Brentwood and is still waiting for his dad to finish the model ship he bought him for Father’s Day, three years ago. For the record, none of the family has ever lived in Canewdon, or in the nearby village of Paglesham, for that matter.