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Catherine Cookson was born in Tyne Dock, the illegitimate daughter of a poverty-stricken woman, Kate, whom she believed to be her older sister. She began work in service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married Tom Cookson, a local grammar-school master. Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer - her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby Award for the best regional novel of 1968 - her readership quickly spread throughout the world, and her many best-selling novels established her as one of the most popular of contemporary women novelists. After receiving an OBE in 1985, Catherine Cookson was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1993. She was appointed an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda’s College, Oxford, in 1997. For many years she lived near Newcastle upon Tyne. She died shortly before her ninety-second birthday, in June 1998.
You may feel Cookson is just romantic fiction but I know many a man who has enjoyed her tales for she is all plot with little description which just keeps you turning the pages. This is a wonderfully eventful tale from the 1860s to World War II, a tale of hope, love, hatred, betrayal, murder and more. A great read. A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher... ‘Spanning Katie’s life from 1860 to the height of WW11, this is a spellbinding, timeless drama. If you haven’t experienced a Catherine Cookson novel, read Katie Mulholland and you’ll see why she is still one of Britain’s most cherished novelists.' Sarah Turner, Editorial Director at Transworld
This collection of poems draws on many themes that will be familiar to the readers of Catherine Cookson's novels: love, work, class and the beauty of nature. She also shares more personal thoughts, reflections on her own writing, marriage to her beloved Tom and life in the north of England. From the earliest poem included here, written in 1925 when Catherine Cookson was nineteen years old, to poems written just before her death in 1998, this anthology spans the gamut of her life and work. The poems are characterized by her down-to-earth common sense and the hard-won philosophy she developed for herself. In 'Brushed Nylon' she tackles the subject of a failed relationship while 'The Daily Round' takes a look at working life. In more personal moments poems such as 'Slow Me Down' talk of her feelings about growing old and 'The Joy of the Country' recalls a holiday in Wales. Catherine Cookson remains one of the nation's favourite storytellers. She completed an astonishing 104 works in her lifetime, books which continue to bring pleasure to millions of readers. Just A Saying is her final work to be published and shows Catherine Cookson at her most intimate and inspirational.
There are men who can at times be stirred by the power and conflict of their own emotions to the point of shedding tears. Such a man was Abel Mason. Unhappily married to the shrewish Lena, he sought release in a love affair that all too soon ended in brutal tragedy. Abel left home, taking with him his young son, Dick, and together they tramped their way to the North where his roots lay. It was a hard and sometimes traumatic journey, and at its end there seemed to open up whole new vistas of life and experience. But the legacy of the past remained, and the burden of its secrets would continue to play a major part in shaping Abel's destiny and Dick's character alike.
In Let Me Make Myself Plain Catherine Cookson may be said to break new ground as an author. The title echoes her first surprised reaction to a television producer's suggestion that she undertake a series of late-night Epilogues. She accepted the challenge with results so successful that many who heard the talks wrote asking for their publication. Here they form the core of a remarkable collection of essays and the poems she modestly dscribes as prose on short lines , into which she has distilled over the years a deeply personal and hard-won philosophy. Uncompromisingly honest and free of illusion, but with an ultimate message of hope and encouragement, the book is imbued with characteristic down-to-earth common sense and humour. Whether writing of priests or doctors, or looking back to episodes in her Tyneside childhood, she constantly displays all the qualities that have made her one of the world's most widely-read and best-loved novelists.
The Batleys and the Cadwells owned neighbouring farms on the beautiful, wild Northumbrian coast. But there all similarity ended, and enmity began. For between the two families raged a violent and bitter feud - a feud so powerful that the very name of Cadwell made Ralph Batley seethe with uncontrollable fury. Into this stormy atmosphere came Linda Metcalfe, a young agricultural student, who innocently became involved in the tension between the two households on the day of her arrival. Employed by Ralph Batley, Linda soon found herself in a very difficult situation. For not only had she unwittingly become a part of the feud, but she began to feel a strange admiration for Ralph, who made it painfully clear that he had no use for her either on the farm or in his life. But then the past erupted into the present, forcing Ralph to change his attitude to Linda and resolving the whole Batley/Cadwell heritage of folly...