Gideon the Cutpurse

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Gideon the Cutpurse
First edition cover
Author Linda Buckley-Archer
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series The Gideon Trilogy
Genre Children's
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Publication date
5 June 2006
Pages 384
ISBN 978-1-4169-1655-0
OCLC 64555644
Followed by The Tar Man

Gideon the Cutpurse, published in the US as The Time Travelers, is a 2006 science fiction novel by Linda Buckley-Archer, and is the first book in The Gideon Trilogy. This series was also called the Enlightenment of Peter Schock.

Plot introduction[edit]

The novel focuses on the adventures of Peter Schock and Kate Dyer in 1763 after being accidentally transported there by an anti-gravity machine while chasing Molly, Kate's dog. It has been praised for its excellent description of everyday living conditions in 18th century England. Along with being an enlighting read for children it also gives valuable information on the eighteenth century.

Plot summary[edit]

Gideon Seymour, cutpurse and gentleman, hides from the villainous Tar Man. Suddenly the sky peels away like fabric and from the gaping hole fall two curious-looking children. Peter Schock and Kate Dyer have fallen straight from the twenty-first century, thanks to an experiment with an antigravity machine. Before Gideon and the children have a chance to gather their wits, the Tar Man takes off with the machine—and Kate and Peter's only chance of getting home. Soon Gideon, Kate, and Peter are swept into a journey through eighteenth-century London and form a bond that, they hope, will stand strong in the face of unfathomable treachery.


Susan Shaver reviewing for Library Media Connection said that the novel was "full of wonderful description, unique historical English terminology, and lots of British flavor, the events of the first book in this time-travel trilogy will surely captivate and hold young readers."[1] Melissa Moore reviewing for the School Library Journal praised the novel saying "history interweaves with science, social issues in both centuries are thrown in; yet what readers will remember most is a fast-paced plot with a cliff-hanger ending and multidimensional characters who continue to inhabit their thoughts long after the book is closed. With appeal for reluctant and advanced readers, this novel is a rare gem."[2] Kristi Elle Jemtegaard reviewing the audiobook for Horn Book Magazine described it as "breakneck plotting, pungent descriptions studded with vivid period details (like the carpet of lice on the floor of Newgate prison), and the desperate plight of the two children trapped in another century give Doyle ample opportunity to display his dramatic skills. The last-minute change of heart that sets up the sequel in the final moments will leave listeners anxious for more."[3] Gideon the Cutpurse was shortlisted for the 2007 Branford Boase Award.[4]

The Time Thief[edit]

Kate and Peter's father try to rescue Peter, but land in 1792, 29 years forward. Meanwhile, the Tar Man is getting used to the twenty- first century. The Tar Man finds a guide in the twenty- first century, a girl named Anjali. Tom also arrives in the twenty- first century (due to the time machine) and is found by the Tar Man. A shocking connection is discovered of two enemies. The book ends with a cliffhanger, and the time quakes have begun.

Time Quake[edit]

Kate and Peter try to get back to the present with the help of Gideon; and inexplicably, the Tar Man! Meanwhile, Lord Luxon tries to change history for America to still be in British power by murdering president George Washington! Kate is growing more transparent each day until she completely disappears, taking Lord Luxon with her. In the end, Peter, Gideon, and Nathaniel go back to the first time traveling event;and stop it. The Peter and Gideon once knew ceased to exist and everything went back to normal. Before Gideon and Nathaniel disappeared, they destroyed the anti-gravity machine. Yet, they leave behind a few mysteries.


  1. ^ Shaver, Susan (November 2006). "Gideon the Cutpurse: Being the First Part of the Gideon Trilogy". Library Media Connection. 25 (3): 74. ISSN 1542-4715. 
  2. ^ Moore, Melissa (July 2006). "Gideon the Cutpurse: Being the First Part of the Gideon Trilogy". School Library Journal. 52 (7): 97. ISSN 0362-8930. 
  3. ^ Jemtegaard, Kristi Elle (January 2007). "Gideon the Cutpurse". Horn Book Magazine. 83 (1): 90. ISSN 0018-5078. 
  4. ^ "BBA Past Winners". Branford Boase Award. Archived from the original on September 12, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-27.