Jill Paton Walsh

A Parcel of Patterns
  • A Parcel of Patterns


    1665, Eyam, Derbyshire.
    'Here I have set down all that I know of the Plague'

    It is 1665 and Mall Percival is a shepherd girl living in a Derbyshire village. She tends her flock, spends time with her best friend and teaches her young suitor to read. But one day a parcel of patterns, meant for a new dress for the pastor's wife, wings its way from London.

    The parcel carries an infection that spreads with horrifying speed. Herbal teas and open windows are the only defence against the sickness. Yet the villagers make a brave and selfless decision: to isolate themselves from the rest of the country. It is a lockdown that saves the neighbouring towns, but at heart-breaking cost to Mall's world.

    Based on the true events of the village of Eyam, this is the story of a courageous sacrifice that saved Derbyshire and beyond from a deadly virus.


    'A pocket masterpiece' Guardian

Jill Paton Walsh was born in 1937. She was educated at St. Michael's Convent, North Finchley, and at St. Anne's College, Oxford. Amongst her awards were the Book World Festival Award (1970); the Whitbread Prize (1974), the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award (1976); The Universe Prize (1984); the Smartest Grand Prix (1984); and the Phoenix Prize (1998). She held numerous posts connected to literature, including an Arts Council Creative Writing Fellowship, being a Whitbread Prize judge, and serving on the committee of the Society of Authors. In 1994 her novel Knowledge of Angels was short-listed for the Booker Prize. She also wrote detective fiction. In 1996 she received the CBE for Services to Literature, and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

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