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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
Born into poverty, Katie Mulholland is forced to find work as a maid in the house of a wealthy family. But the beautiful young girl captures the eye of her employer's evil son, who rapes her and leaves her pregnant. Out for themselves, the family forces her to marry the cruel manager of their mines. But Katie's fate changes course when one man offers her the opportunity to make her own fortune, and to discover real love . . . Spanning Katie's life from 1860 to the height of the Second World War, this is a timeless tale of one woman's fight for the happy ending she deserves. Catherine Cookson was the original and bestselling saga writer, selling over 100 million copies of her novels. If you like Dilly Court, Katie Flynn or Donna Douglas, you'll love Catherine Cookson.
Rosie finds it hard to cope with her eldest sister's over-possessive nature. Since the death of their mother Beatrice has been insufferably dominating, taking over the running of the house and ruling their father and servants with an iron hand. She glories in being the mistress at Pine Hurst and never dreams of leaving. But when their father dies unexpectedly their security is threatened, and Beatrice must lay plans to protect this most prized possession. How will the sister's survive now their father is gone? Catherine Cookson was the original and bestselling saga writer, selling over 100 million copies of her novels. If you like Dilly Court, Katie Flynn or Donna Douglas, you'll love Catherine Cookson.
Only after returning from his well-attended funeral did Fiona Bailey realise just how much she would miss Davey Love. Despite her initial doubts and prejudices about this rough-hewn Irishman, towards the end of his life she had discovered qualities about him she had previously overlooked. Above all, it was his inherent kindness that she had failed to discern when she and her husband had first met Davey and his wayward son Sammy. The Baileys, Bill and Fiona, lived in the Tyneside town of Fellburn where Bill was a successful building contractor. Years before he had met and married Fiona, a young widow with her own loving family, to which they had shortly added by adopting the orphaned Mamie. Then, when one of Fiona's children, Willie, acquired a new friend, Sammy, it was he and his father Davey who, by one means or another, helped change the lives and fortunes of the Bailey family. Now, with Davey gone, there would be new challenges to face. It had been agreed that Sammy would live with them - but would this formidable lad with his colourful language fit in as a fully-fledged member of the Bailey family? As for Fiona, it was she who bore the brunt of the arguments and disagreements that were an inevitable part of life in the Bailey household. Whatever life had in store, however, she knew she could always rely on Bill, that rock of a man with a rough tongue and edges but with a heart of gold.
_______________________ Humour, toughness, resolution and generosity are Cookson virtues . . . In the specialised world of women's popular fiction, Cookson has created her own territory. (Helen Dunmore, The Times) County Durham, 1860s. Born to a family of wealthy glassmakers, Annabella Legrange leads a charmed life, shielded from the struggles of the lower classes. But when she is eighteen she learns the truth of her birth and her whole world is shattered... Forced to flee and leave behind everything she has ever known, she seeks to find a new life among the working classes where she hopes to forget the troubles of her past. She soon finds that moving on is harder than it looks and that there doesn't seem to be place for her in either society. Catherine Cookson was the original and bestselling saga writer, selling over 100 million copies of her novels. If you like Dilly Court, Katie Flynn or Donna Douglas, you'll love Catherine Cookson. Originally published as THE GLASS VIRGIN
Born into grinding poverty, young Freddie Musgrave relies on his wits to survive and help feed his family. He earns a few shillings by navigating his little boat across the swift-flowing waters of the Tyne, running messages and smuggling goods between the busy seaports on either side of the river and evading the customs agents. Luck is on his side . . . until the night he witnesses something truly horrific. In a supremely brave act he saves a life - and changes his own forever. Gaining the patronage of Maggie Hewitt, a sea captain's daughter, Freddie is able to shape a future he can be proud of. But the threats of the past won't stay buried and the dark events of that distant night have cast a long and dangerous shadow... Catherine Cookson was the original and bestselling saga writer, selling over 100 million copies of her novels. If you like Dilly Court, Katie Flynn or Donna Douglas, you'll love Catherine Cookson.
HANNAH MASSEY Proud and canny, ignorant and intensely ambitious, Hannah Massey is a born ruler. Her kingdom may be only a working-class household in County Durham, but within its walls her iron will governs a predominantly male family and her word is unchallengeable law. Now, in late middle age, her ambition is still not satisfied. She wants to see her brood living in the house where she was in service as a young girl. The apple of Hannah's eye is her pretty younger daughter, Rosie, who has just returned home after a spell in London. Rosie had gone south, so Hannah thought, to escape the passionate pursuit of a young man she had known for most of her life. Her return is shrouded in mystery and evasions, and when the truth does come out, Hannah's world is torn apart. THE FIFTEEN STREETS Life in the Fifteen Streets was tough - a continual struggle for survival. Some families gave up and descended into a dismal state of grinding poverty. Others, like the O'Briens - and especially John O'Brien - fought grimly for a world they were only rarely allowed to glimpse. John O'Brien caught his 'glimpse' on the day he met Mary Llewellyn. Mary, with her slim body and soft brown hair; Mary, who lived well, had beautiful clothes - who worked because she wanted to, not because she had to... When John O'Brien fell in love with Mary Llewellyn, he knew there was a gulf between them that nothing could bridge - it was the gulf of the Fifteen Streets.
Even the approach to Christmas fails to excite restless Agnes Conway, the twenty-two-year-old manager of the sweet and tobacconist shops owned by her feckless father. There are dark secrets in Arthur Conway's past, and these come tragically to light when Agnes's younger sister falls pregnant by one of the notorious Felton brothers. And Agnes herself has a secret, which she knows she must keep from her father: her relationship with Charles Farrier, son of a local landowner, who outrages his own wealthy, pious family by proposing marriage. However Charles is not the only man who could shape Agnes's furture, as his brother Reginald makes no secret of his admiration for her. But she could not have foreseen how significant a part he is to play in her destiny... The Wingless Bird is an absorbing story of love and the harsh realities of Britain's class system.
When Millie's mother abandons her one late afternoon in 1854, fate brings the seven-year-old to Aggie's door - and life will never be the same for either of them. Known locally as 'Raggie Aggie' for her business of trading rags and old clothes, the older woman knows the dangers waiting for such a strikingly pretty girl left alone in their rough area of Newcastle, and sees no other option but to take her in. The unlikely pair soon form an unexpectedly strong bond. But there will be obstacles in their paths - will their friendship survive? Whatever happens, their relationship will change their lives for ever... Catherine Cookson was the original and bestselling saga writer, selling over 100 million copies of her novels. If you like Dilly Court, Katie Flynn or Donna Douglas, you'll love Catherine Cookson.
When Ellen Jebeau's husband dies in 1926, he leaves behind a legacy of debt and empty dreams. However, Ellen is determined that her son Joseph should have everything in life that she never did, and will stop at nothing to give it to him. Ellen and Joseph soon find themselves in a convenient arrangement with Ellen's brother-in-law, Sir Arthur, living on the family estate, an arrangement which quickly comes to work in conniving Ellen's favour... But over the course of the next twenty years, as destinies intertwine, can Joseph Jebeau escape the clutches of his mother's ruthless ambition, and emerge from the shadows of his heritage as the man he truly wants to be? Catherine Cookson was the original and bestselling saga writer, selling over 100 million copies of her novels. If you like Dilly Court, you'll love Catherine Cookson.
Known for the wit of her writing, in her lifetime Catherine Cookson became the UKs most widely read novelist. When the Cookson Estate discovered the unpublished manuscript of Saint Christopher and the Gravedigger in the attic of her home, they unearthed a gem for Cooksons many fans.Gravedigger John Gascoigne lives in Downfell Hurst with his wife, Florrie, their three children and his mother, Gran. John is a deep thinker but extremely taciturna man of few words and many grunts. Which is why everyone is alarmed when hes hit on the head by a cricket ball, and it suddenly seems as if the words wont stop. Whats more, he says he is talking to Saint Christopheronly no one else can see the saint, and theyre beginning to worry Johns not quite right in the headMad or not, John has some secrets hes been keeping. But if he cant stop talking, they wont stay secret for long.
Known for the wit of her writing, Catherine Cookson was the UKs most widely read novelist during her lifetime. When her Estate discovered this never-before-published memoir in the attic of her home, it was an astonishing find. Before I Go is the definitive story of her life, in the authors own candid words.While Cookson had authored previous autobiographies, none have truly touched upon the tragedy and personal anguish she experienced until now. For the first time, she reveals the worst years of her lifeher constant battles with illness and a series of devastating miscarriages, the damaging jealousy of her friend and her struggle to be taken seriously as a writer. But what shines through most is her strength in the face of adversity, her deep love for her husband, Tom, the solace she found in her art and her unmistakable character. Before I Go is an inspiring story of resilience and a must for any Cookson fan.
County Durham, 1830s When fifteen-year-old Cissie Brodie loses her parents to cholera, she is forced out of the family cottage and left to raise her nine brothers and sisters by herself. Although desperately poor, strong-willed Cissie determines to build a new home for them all, their own little shelter to keep them from the workhouse. They have friends, but charity cannot always spare them the harsh reality of their struggle and when Cissie attracts the unwanted attentions of a local landowner, her world seems close to collapse. Can love, when it arrives, teach her not to fear the world beyond the dwelling place? Catherine Cookson was the original and bestselling saga writer, selling over 100 million copies of her novels. If you like Dilly Court, Katie Flynn or Donna Douglas, you'll love Catherine Cookson.
Yorkshire, 1880s At nineteen years old, Bridget Dean Mordaunt inherits her father's candle and blacking factories. Determined to restore the businesses to their former glory, by the time she turns twenty-three she is running them as confidently as any man. But despite her success, trouble is looming. When the devious Lionel Filmore enters Bridget's family life, hoping to marry into her hard-earned wealth, she has to use all of her strength and ingenuity to keep her family together. Then, when young Lily Whitmore comes to her after her husband - an overseer in one of Bridget's factories - has wrongly been tried for his brother's murder, Bridget has no choice but to help. If Lily's husband didn't kill his brother, who did? The decisions Bridget makes will shape the lives of generations to come. Can her family overcome the darkness of the past to find new happiness? Catherine Cookson was the original and bestselling saga writer, selling over 100 million copies of her novels. If you like Dilly Court, Katie Flynn or Donna Douglas, you'll love Catherine Cookson.