1665. It is five years since King Charles II returned from exile, the scars of the English Civil Wars are yet to heal and now the Great Plague engulfs the land. Alethea Hawthorne is safe inside the walls of the Calverton household as a lady’s companion waiting in anticipation of the day she can return to her ancestral home of Measham Hall.But when Alethea suddenly finds herself cast out on the plague-ridden streets of London, a long road to Derbyshire lies ahead. Militias have closed their boroughs off to outsiders for fear of contamination.Fortune smiles on her when Jack appears, an unlikely travelling companion who helps this determined girl to navigate a perilous new world of religious dissenters, charlatans and a pestilence that afflicts peasants and lords alike.The Master of Measham Hall is the first book in a page-turning historical series. In lyrical prose, Anna Abney portrays the religious divides at the heart of Restoration England in a timeless novel about survival, love, and family loyalty.
The Master Of Measham Hall is available in ebook and hardback now. You can purchase your copy using the links below.
I really enjoyed this fascinating, absorbing book that I found very hard to put down. I especially liked that the author has a personal connection to Measham Hall as it made the story come to life.
I haven’t read many books about the plague and knew very little about it, so I found all the little details the author includes in the book fascinating. I didn’t know that you needed papers to travel to prove you didn’t have plague symptoms for example and I had not heard of the little breakout groups that were around at that time trying to build new communities.
I adored Althea and I warmed to her quickly. She’s a very brave lady and I loved how willing she was to adapt to her new life. I was impressed with how she threw herself into the every day tasks at her new community, doing manual labour and learning to fish. There were some fantastic supporting characters in the book too that I enjoyed getting to know alongside Althea.
Overall I really enjoyed this book which I found very absorbing and therefore very difficult to put down. The ending felt a bit abrupt but gave me hope that there might be a possible sequel.
Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Duckworth books for my copy of this book.
About The Author:
Anna Abney is among the last descendants of the Abney family, former residents of Measham Hall, a lost house of Derbyshire. The Measham Hall series is a fictionalised account of her ancestors’ lives. An academic in the English and Creative Writing department at the Open University, she wrote her PhD on the seventeenth century writer, Margaret Cavendish, the first English woman to be published in her own name, under the supervision of Lisa Jardine at Queen Mary, University of London. Her writing also includes fiction, journalism and drama. Anna was born and raised in London and lived in Ireland, North and South, for thirteen years before returning to the Big Smoke. She now lives in rural Kent with her husband, a playwright and screenwriter, and their border-collie.