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Kate Summerscale - Author

About the Author

Kate Summerscale was born in 1965. She is the author of the bestselling The Queen of Whale Cay, which won a Somerset Maugham award and was shortlisted for the Whitbread biography award. She has also judged various literary competitions including the Booker Prize. She lives in London with her son.

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher or The Murder at Road Hill House, published by Bloomsbury in April 2008, has been awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction 2008.

Featured books by Kate Summerscale

Other books by Kate Summerscale

The Haunting of Alma Fielding

The Haunting of Alma Fielding

Author: Kate Summerscale Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2020

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2020 BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE 'A page-turner with the authority of history' PHILIPPA GREGORY 'As gripping as a novel. An engaging, unsettling, deeply satisfying read' SARAH WATERS 'A wonderful book about the world of mediums' HILARY MANTEL, Open Book, BBC Radio 4 London, 1938. Alma Fielding, an ordinary young woman, begins to experience supernatural events in her suburban home. Nandor Fodor - a Jewish-Hungarian refugee and chief ghost hunter for the International Institute for Psychical research - begins to investigate. In doing so he discovers a different and darker type of haunting: trauma, alienation, loss - and the foreshadowing of a nation's worst fears. As the spectre of Fascism lengthens over Europe, and as Fodor's obsession with the case deepens, Alma becomes ever more disturbed. With rigour, daring and insight, the award-winning pioneer of historical narrative non-fiction Kate Summerscale shadows Fodor's enquiry, delving into long-hidden archives to find the human story behind a very modern haunting. 'An empathetic, meticulous account of a spiritual unravelling; a tribute to the astonishing power of the human mind - but also a properly absorbing, baffling, satisfying detective story' AIDA EDEMARIAM A PICK OF THE AUTUMN IN THE TIMES, SUNDAY TIMES, OBSERVER AND THE GUARDIAN

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher

Author: Kate Summerscale Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/10/2019

WINNER OF THE SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER A RICHARD AND JUDY BOOK CLUB PICK 'A classic' John le Carre 'Nothing less than a masterpiece' Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday 'Absolutely riveting' Sarah Waters, Guardian 'Terrific' Ian Rankin 'A triumph' Observer On a summer's morning in 1860, the Kent family awakes in their elegant Wiltshire home to a terrible discovery; their youngest son has been brutally murdered. When celebrated detective Jack Whicher is summoned from Scotland Yard he faces the unenviable task of identifying the killer - when the grieving family are the suspects. The original Victorian whodunnit, the murder and its investigation provoked national hysteria at the thought of what might be festering behind the locked doors of respectable homes - scheming servants, rebellious children, insanity, jealousy, loneliness and loathing.

Der Verdacht des Mr Whicher

Der Verdacht des Mr Whicher

Author: Kate Summerscale Format: eBook Release Date: 08/06/2015

In einer Sommernacht im Jahr 1860 geschieht ein Mord in einem herrschaftlichen Landhaus in Wiltshire. Die Leiche des dreijahrigen Saville wird mit durchgeschnittener Kehle aufgefunden. Alle Hausbewohner stehen unter Schock, erst recht, als sich herausstellt, dass es einer von ihnen gewesen sein muss. Jack Whicher von Scotland Yard soll diesen Mordfall aufklaren, doch was er herausfindet, versetzt die ganze Nation in Hysterie. Eine wahre Geschichte, die Generationen von Autoren wie Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens und Arthur Conan Doyle inspirierte.

Mrs Robinson's Disgrace

Mrs Robinson's Disgrace

Author: Kate Summerscale Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/03/2013

When the married Isabella Robinson was introduced to the dashing Edward Lane at a party in 1850, she was utterly enchanted. He was 'fascinating', she told her diary, before chastising herself for being so susceptible to a man's charms. But a wish had taken hold of her, and she was to find it hard to shake... In one of the most notorious divorce cases of the nineteenth century, Isabella Robinson's scandalous secrets were exposed to the world. Kate Summerscale brings vividly to life a frustrated Victorian wife's longing for passion and learning, companionship and love, in a society clinging to rigid ideas about marriage and female sexuality.

Mrs Robinson s Disgrace, The Private Diary of A Victorian Lady ENHANCED EDITION

Mrs Robinson s Disgrace, The Private Diary of A Victorian Lady ENHANCED EDITION

Author: Kate Summerscale Format: eBook Release Date: 05/07/2012

Enhanced Edition of the bestselling Mrs Robinson's Disgrace, including author videos and podcastsOn a mild winter's evening in 1850, Isabella Robinson set out for a party. Her carriage bumped across the wide cobbled streets of Edinburgh's Georgian New Town and drew up at 8 Royal Circus, a grand sandstone house lit by gas lamps. This was the home of the rich widow Lady Drysdale, a vivacious hostess whose soirees were the centre of an energetic intellectual scene.Lady Drysdale's guests were gathered in the high, airy drawing rooms on the first floor, the ladies in dresses of glinting silk and satin, bodices pulled tight over boned corsets; the gentlemen in tailcoats, waistcoats, neckties and pleated shirt fronts, dark narrow trousers and shining shoes. When Mrs Robinson joined the throng she was introduced to Lady Drysdale's daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Edward Lane. She was at once enchanted by the handsome Mr Lane, a medical student ten years her junior. He was 'fascinating', she told her diary, before chastising herself for being so susceptible to a man's charms. But a wish had taken hold of her, which she was to find hard to shake...A compelling story of romance and fidelity, insanity, fantasy, and the boundaries of privacy in a society clinging to rigid ideas about marriage and female sexuality, Mrs Robinson's Disgrace brings vividly to life a complex, frustrated Victorian wife, longing for passion and learning, companionship and love.

The Queen of Whale Cay

The Queen of Whale Cay

Author: Kate Summerscale Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/05/2012

Born in 1900 to a promiscuous American oil heiress and a British army captain, Marion Barbara Carstairs realised very early on that she was not like most little girls. Liberated by war work in WWI, Marion reinvented herself as Joe, and quickly went on to establish herself as a leading light of the fashionable lesbian demi-monde. She dressed in men's clothes, smoked cigars and cheroots, tattooed her arms, and became Britain's most celebrated female speed-boat racer - the 'fastest woman on water'. Yet Joe tired of the lime-light in 1934, and retired to the Bahamian Island of Whale Cay. There she fashioned her own self-sufficient kingdom, where she hosted riotous parties which boasted Hollywood actresses and British royalty among their guests. Although her lovers included screen sirens such as Marlene Dietrich, the real love of Joe's life was a small boy-doll named Lord Tod Wadley, to whom she remained devoted throughout her remarkable life. She died, aged 93, in 1993.

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher

Author: Kate Summerscale Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/10/2009

It is a summer's night in 1860. In an elegant detached Georgian house in the village of Road, Wiltshire, all is quiet. Behind shuttered windows the Kent family lies sound asleep. At some point after midnight a dog barks. The family wakes the next morning to a horrific discovery: an unimaginably gruesome murder has taken place in their home. The household reverberates with shock, not least because the guilty party is surely still among them. Jack Whicher of Scotland Yard, the most celebrated detective of his day, reaches Road Hill House a fortnight later. He faces an unenviable task: to solve a case in which the grieving family are the suspects. The murder provokes national hysteria. The thought of what might be festering behind the closed doors of respectable middle-class homes - scheming servants, rebellious children, insanity, jealousy, loneliness and loathing - arouses fear and a kind of excitement. But when Whicher reaches his shocking conclusion there is uproar and bewilderment. A true story that inspired a generation of writers such as Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle, this has all the hallmarks of the classic murder mystery - a body; a detective; a country house steeped in secrets. In The Suspicions of Mr Whicher Kate Summerscale untangles the facts behind this notorious case, bringing it back to vivid, extraordinary life.

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