One year today, on 26th January 2017, my next book will be published by Pan Macmillan, my new publishers (in the UK and Commonwealth, US readers may have to wait a little longer).
The Silk Weaver returns to my silk-weaving roots. Nearly 300 years ago, in 1720, my family’s silk weaving company started weaving in a house in Wilkes Street, Spitalfields, East London.
Just a few yards down the road was the house of a famous silk designer, Anna Maria Garthwaite, whose beautiful designs were worn by the aristocracy and royalty both in England and across the Atlantic, in the colony of America. Nearly a thousand of her beautiful, intricate designs are held in the Victoria and Albert Museum (see illustration).
Did my ancestors know Anna Maria? Did they weave her designs? How did she learn her craft? And how did this single, middle-aged woman become so pre-eminent in a largely male-dominated industry? These are some of the questions to which I have tried to provide fictionalised answers in my new book.
I will post more about it in the months to come, to keep your appetites whetted during the long wait!