Originally from Whitby, North Yorkshire, England, I now live in deepest rural France with two French rescue dogs in a tiny farmhouse. I have been writing seriously since I was eight which was when I decided to put together my “collected poems” in an exercise book. In my twenties I almost had a career writing comedy for British television (it’s a very long story) but it all had to be put on hold as I had moved to Belgium and, carelessly, had a baby. In my forties I began to try again and wrote a comic novel. It was several years before I managed to complete another novel, though I have at least half a dozen unfinished ones. I also spent five years researching a former Rector of a village in North Yorkshire who lived from 1815 to 1916 and I gained a wide-ranging feel for the period not just of his life, but those of his parents and grandparents. During lockdown, which was very strict in France, I went back to Jane Austen and absorbed myself in her wonderful world. I started to write a sequel to Mansfield Park and before I knew it, I had a book on my hands. I love Jane’s world with its formalities and repressions, it feels so close to and yet so far from our own. I also had fun incorporating some of my research, along with references to literature of the period.


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