Lord Shaftesbury: A Biography

Lord Shaftesbury was born Anthony Ashley Cooper in 1801. His father was Cropley Ashley Cooper, the Sixth Earl of Shaftesbury, and Anthony's childhood was one of "great severity, moral and physical." Anthony’s parents spent their time and money on themselves, and their children were often hungry and cold, left in the care of the servants... Continue Reading →

Finding the Gaps

Writing historical fiction is a strange process. You might suppose (as I did) that it’s a fairly boring task, with no room for inspiration. These people lived and died, their lives are a matter of record, and all there is to do is to recount those lives in so many words and try to be... Continue Reading →

‘Out of the Smoke’ – Extract

This is the beginning of my latest novel, released in October 2020 and available to order now. It was inspired by the life and work of the Victorian MP and philanthropist Anthony Ashley Cooper, the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury. The book follows eleven-year-old Billy, a chimney sweep (or 'climbing boy' as they were known) as... Continue Reading →

Writing Update

I've just come back to this website after a couple of years away. After finding the right keys and shoving the door open past the pile of letters on the mat, I've begun blowing away the cobwebs and taking off the dust-sheets, and I've realised that a lot has happened in the intervening time. Endever... Continue Reading →

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