Weekend in Chambéry

Chambery festival poster

  The Painted Bridge has won the ‘English first novel prize – 27th edition of the Festival du premier roman de Chambéry, France.’ The winning novel is selected by a vote by members of reading groups. I had the great pleasure last weekend of going to Chambéry for the Festival du premier […]

Teddington Library Talk

I’m at Teddington Library on Tuesday 20th May, chatting about The Painted Bridge and The Sacred River - the inspiration behind the novels, the themes that interest me in writing about women’s lives, and writing process.                                 […]

WhitLit Festival, May 10th


I’m joining writers Denise Meredith and Lloyd Shepherd for an event as part of the Whitstable literary festival on May 10th. We’ll be talking about our Victorian novels with local author Andrew McGuinness. Please come if you’re in the area! It would be great to see you there. More details […]

Essex Book Festival

I’ll be talking about Victorian history with novelist Essie Fox, and Kate Nielan and Rob Chilver of Adventures with Words, on 5th March, in Colchester, as part of the Essex Book Festival 2014. In researching my novel The Sacred River, I became fascinated by English women travellers to Egypt in […]

Stories of Death and Destiny

dissenter images

To welcome in the New Year, writers Essie Fox, Kate Mayfield and I invite you to a candle-literary evening in the historic Dissenters’ Chapel at Kensal Green cemetery. Kensal Green is one of London’s original Victorian cemeteries, rich in history, with many of the 19th century’s great and good buried here, along with paupers […]

The Past In Another Country

Ghoreeyah street, Cairo by John Frederick Lewis

My novel THE SACRED RIVER is the story of three Victorian women who leave a fogbound London for the light and heat of Egypt, trying to escape a prophesied death. None can return unchanged and at least one can never return. In the two years it took me to write […]

September Events

The Hareem by John Frederick Lewis

Please come along to any or all of these events if you can – I’d love to see you! On Friday 20th September, I’m at the Manor Hotel as part of the Yeovil Literary festival, giving an illustrated talk on Victorian Women Travellers on the Nile and the research behind my […]

Watts Chapel

On a recent visit to the Watts Chapel in Compton near Guildford in the south of England, I was struck by how Arabic the decoration appears. In Islamic art, one would not find the human faces but the fluid grace of the lines is strongly reminiscent of Arabic calligraphy. The […]

Launch of The Sacred River


As readers of this blog probably know, my new novel The Sacred River came out last week. We had the launch party a few days after publication day, at the Petrie Museum, in London. The Petrie is one of the foremost Egyptology museums in the world, with an estimated 80,000 objects. It’s […]

Co Donegal

I had an inspiring weekend staying with artists Ian Gordon and Sarah Lewtas at their farm in a beautiful and remote area of County Donegal, in Ireland. Ian’s stunning exhibition – ‘Uncovered’ – is on at the Glebe Gallery until the end of June.