Born in Berkshire, Diane Setterfield was educated at Theale Green Comprehensive School and Bristol University. Her degree in French literature led her to teach in universities in England and France, where she lived for several years. Diane's previous publications have been in the field of 19th and 20th century French literature, specialising in the writings of André Gide. After returning to the UK, Diane ran a business teaching French to those intending to live in France. She lives in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, with her husband.
A dark midwinter's night in an ancient inn on the Thames. The regulars are entertaining themselves by telling stories when the door bursts open on an injured stranger. In his arms is the drowned corpse of a little child. Hours later the dead girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can it be explained by science? An exquisitely crafted multi-layered mystery brimming with folklore, suspense and romance, as well as with the urgent scientific curiosity of the Darwinian age, Once Upon a River is as richly atmospheric as Setterfield's bestseller The Thirteenth Tale.
The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield’s debut, was one of the most exciting first novels since The Time Traveler’s Wife (and recently adapted for TV by the BBC). Bellman and Black is darkly, satisfyingly mysterious. Not quite as much a ghost story as the sub-title would imply it is still rich and gothic and very enjoyable.
'Simply brilliant' Kate Mosse, international bestselling author of Labyrinth *** Everybody has a story... Angelfield House stands abandoned and forgotten. It was once home to the March family: fascinating, manipulative Isabelle; brutal, dangerous Charlie; and the wild, untamed twins, Emmeline and Adeline. But the house hides a chilling secret which strikes at the very heart of each of them, tearing their lives apart... Now Margaret Lea is investigating Angelfield's past, and its mysterious connection to the enigmatic writer Vida Winter. Vida's history is mesmering - a tale of ghosts, governesses, and gothic strangeness. But as Margaret succumbs to the power of her storytelling, two parallel stories begin to unfold... What has Angelfield been hiding? What is the secret that strikes at the heart of Margaret's own, troubled life? And can both women ever confront the ghosts that haunt them...? The Thirteenth Tale is a spellbinding mystery, a love letter to storytelling, and a modern classic.
'I was completely spellbound' - Ruth Hogan, author of The Keeper of Lost Things 'Setterfield is a master storyteller' - Madeline Miller, author of Circe Some say the river drowned her... Some say it brought her back to life On a dark midwinter's night in an ancient inn on the Thames, the regulars are entertaining themselves by telling stories when the door bursts open and in steps an injured stranger. In his arms is the drowned corpse of a child. Hours later, the dead girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? And who does the little girl belong to? An exquisitely crafted historical mystery brimming with folklore, suspense and romance, as well as with the urgent scientific curiosity of the Victorian age. ____________________ Praise for Diane Setterfield: 'An absolute feast of a book, which will keep you engrossed' RED magazine 'Brimming with folklore, intrigue and romance, this is a story to savour' Woman & Home 'Once Upon a River continues to demonstrate [Setterfield's] mastery of the Gothic genre in a way that will appeal to modern readers' The Independent Readers are captivated by Once Upon a River: ***** 'Pure escapism, a beautifully written story.' ***** 'It felt as comforting as the fantastical stories you read as a child yet with a darker edge.' ***** 'I was entranced from the beginning to the end.'
As a boy, William Bellman commits one small, cruel act: killing a bird with his slingshot. Little does he know the unforeseen and terrible consequences of the deed, which is soon forgotten amidst the riot of boyhood games. By the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, William seems to be a man blessed by fortuneuntil tragedy strikes and the stranger in black comes. Then he starts to wonder if all his happiness is about to be eclipsed. Desperate to save the one precious thing he has left, William enters into a rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner, to found a decidedly macabre business.And Bellman & Black is born.
When Margaret Lea opened the door to the past, what she confronted was her destiny. All children mythologize their birth. . . . So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's beloved collection of stories, long famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale. The enigmatic Winter has always kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she summons a biographer to tell the truth about her extraordinary life: Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth remains an ever-present pain. Disinterring the life she meant to bury for good, Vida mesmerizes Margaret with the power of her storytelling. Hers is a tale of gothic strangeness, featuring the Angelfield family -- including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, and the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline -- a ghost, a governess, and a devastating fire. Struck by a curious parallel between their stories, Margaret demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them. The Thirteenth Tale is a return to that rich vein of storytelling that our parents loved and we loved as children. Diane Setterfield will keep you guessing, make you wonder, move you to tears and laughter, and in the end, deposit you breathless yet satisfied back upon the shore of your everyday life.
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