The Earl of Hampton begins when Lt. Robert Grimes finds a lost boy in a box car.
The boy is well dressed and frightened. Later Mrs Grimes discovers the boy has the manners of
the upper-class. No one comes forward to claim him. Grimes discovers the boy is not foreign,
but deaf—hence his not speaking. The child is attentive and intelligent. The court
instructs Grimes to take the deaf child to a home for the insane. Against his better judgment,
Grimes obeys. At the home the child is named Jonathan. From there his remarkable journey from
Jonathan to Joseph, a boy far from home, begins.
Meanwhile, the young woman suspected of being his sister is dealing with her own issues,
including a man she adores, though others do not—and with reason. Her once thought to be
dead brother has possibly been found, and as the sole survivor of her family, it’s up to her
whether or not he can return to his rightful place in the family—as heir to a large fortune.
The Earl of Hampton is a touching tale about a deaf child lost in a hearing world.
Joseph’s journey is extensive and absorbing. Thankfully there is a hearing hero at each
roadblock to speak on his behalf. Balsamo pens a sympathetic character destined to win the
heart and mind of the reader. Joseph is presented as a brave, well-mannered, appealing character
who will haunt you long after the tale in told. The historical dialect and detail is impressive.
Balsamo also does an excellent job on the deaf characterization, early English and ASL signing,
as well as the history of Lauret Clerc. I am greatly impressed. Highly Recommended.