I have two novels at the advanced proofreading stage, with the aim of publishing them next year. In the meantime, I have posted a 'taster' chapter from each novel for your reading pleasure and feedback.
My novels recreate the Georgian and Regency periods through the eyes of ordinary people, and a scattering of famous ones. My personal experience of acquired disability has informed the portrayal of my heroine, Lucinda, as I asked myself: how would I have survived in a world without the welfare state?
The first novel, In Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, covers a period of some fourteen years in the life of Lucinda, a respectable embroideress, who encounters adversity in the form of abandonment, disablement and destitution, and falls into a world of smugglers, highwaymen, spies, dissenters and crooked aristocracy.
The novel describes her precarious survival and struggle to overcome the trauma of her circumstances to rise again and to find love in a time of social revolution and political oppression. Her love for the mysterious highwayman, William, is her constant lodestar, guiding her towards fulfilment and the expression of her own inner truth.
The sequel, Creswell Crags, continues their story up to the time of the Battle of Waterloo. William, now a physician, husband and father, is invited with Lucinda to spend some time in a grand house in Derbyshire, where the headstrong elder son of the family leads him into trouble with his acquaintance Lord Byron, introducing him to the Hellfire Club and the opium dens of the East End.
Lucinda is left to pursue an independent life as a helper at the Naval Hospital in Greenwich while she waits for her husband to return. Their son, Tobias, enlists in Wellington's gathering army at Waterloo, whilst their daughter, Belle, pursues marriage prospects at Brighton.
The resolution of each thread of the story occurs in the final chapters set in Brussels, as the European armies mass to confront each other in the great battle of Waterloo.