Books

The Glassmaker’s Daughter

Catherine Cookson

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.

The Harrogate Secret

Catherine Cookson

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.

The Smuggler’s Secret

Catherine Cookson

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.

The Glass Virgin

Catherine Cookson

As an only child, Annabella LaGrange lived a privileged, secluded existence, and had come to accept that her wealthy parents lived at opposite ends of their magnificent country estate and that she was never taken beyond the gates.

But at seventeen she learns something so shocking about her past that she flees her childhood home, forced to embark upon a new existence with an invented past. Suddenly Annabella must unlearn everything she has been taught about class and love . . .

The Rag Maid

Catherine Cookson

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.

My Beloved Son

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.

The Dwelling Place

Catherine Cookson

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.

The Black Candle

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.

The Tinker's Girl

Catherine Cookson

Cumbria, 1870s.

Just before her fifteenth birthday Jinnie Howlett is offered a position as maid-of-all-work at a farm near the Cumbrian border. She hopes this will be a welcome relief from the workhouse she knows too well.

But when she meets her brutish employers Jinnie realises she has only exchanged one life of drudgery for another. She is grateful when one of the sons befriends her, but it isn't long before Jennie sees how tempting life is beyond her place of work . . .

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.

House Of Men

Catherine Cookson

When Kate Mitchell was offered the job of part-time secretary at Tor-Fret, a lonely old house on the Northumberland fells, she had no idea that the household was composed only of men.

Her employer, Maurice Rossiter, an embittered victim of polio, was subject to alternative fits of temper and depression. Even so, Kate found it difficult to understand his peculiar hatred of his elder brother Logan, on whose charity Maurice was obliged to depend. But when she accidentally stumbled upon Maurice with Logan's fiancée , she became aware of some of the secrets of Tor-Fret, and realised she was getting too deeply involved with Logan Rossiter and the other inhabitants of the mysterious household.

Just A Saying

Catherine Cookson

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.

Let Me Make Myself Plain

Catherine Cookson

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 Man Who Cried

Catherine Cookson

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.

Heritage Of Folly

Catherine Cookson

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...

The Desert Crop

Catherine Cookson

Money was tight in rural Fellburn in the 1880s, and this perhaps explained why Hector Stewart, only two years after the death of his wife, announced to his children that he was to marry Moira Conelly, a wealthy distant relative from Ireland.

But Moira had not been entirely honest about her background or her finances, and had convinced herself she would be marrying into landed gentry, complete with a lifestyle to which she felt entitled. It was with surprise, therefore, that she first saw the run down farm that would be her new home . . .

Feathers In The Fire

Catherine Cookson

Davie Armstrong watches as his master, Angus McBain, publicly thrashes young Molly Geary for refusing to name the man who had made her pregnant. And yet, only an hour later, Davie sees the two of them alone in the malthouse, and learns that the child is McBain's. In a whirl of disbelieving rage he overhears them plotting to let him, Davie, take the blame and marry Molly.

Meanwhile, the master's wife is also pregnant. And a few months later the birth of the McBain's son Amos unleashes violence and tragedy at the farm. Born with no legs and emotionally crippled, Amos will learn to wield power of frightening intensity over everyone around him . . .

Pure As The Lily

Catherine Cookson

Mary Walton is the apple of her father's eye; his only comfort during the dark years of the Depression when he is faced with both unemployment and a nagging, ambitious wife.

His only hope is that Mary will one day find a way to escape the grinding poverty of the Tyneside slums. But when a secret is revealed these dreams are shattered and the lives of the Walton family change forever. . .

Spanning Mary's life from the 1930's to the 1970's, Pure as the Lily is a spellbinding, unforgettable tale from one of Britain's most cherished novelists.

Kate Hannigan

Catherine Cookson

Dr Rodney Prince has never seen a girl look more out of place in the grime of the Fifteen Streets than Kate Hannigan. Her beauty and intelligence far outshine that of his hard, brittle, calculating wife. And as their paths continue to cross, Rodney cannot fail to be drawn towards her.

But as an unlikely romance blossoms, the union fuels vicious gossip amongst the denizens of the Fifteen Streets. For it is a love that opposes all the concepts of Edwardian society . . .

Kate Hannigan is the partly autobiographical, enthralling story of a controversial love affair, from one of the most talented storytellers of the 20th century.

The Obsession

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 the girls' father dies unexpectedly their security is threatened, and Beatrice must lay plans to protect this most prized possession.

The Silent Lady

Catherine Cookson

The woman who presented herself at the offices of the respectable firm of London solicitors was, the receptionist decided, clearly a vagrant who had been sleeping on the streets. The clothes that hung on her frail body were filthy, and she seemed unable to speak. When she asked to see the firm's senior partner, Alexander Armstrong, she was at first shown the door - but when Mr Armstrong learned the name of his visitor, all the office staff were amazed at his reaction. For Irene Baindor was a woman with a past, and her emergence from obscurity was to signal the unravelling of a mystery that had baffled the lawyer for twenty-six years.
What Irene - the silent lady of the title - had been doing, and where she had been, gradually emerged over the following weeks as Armstrong met the unlikely benefactors who had befriended her and helped her to build a useful and satisfying life in a sheltered environment. Now, at last, she was able to confront her tortured and violent past and find great happiness and contentment with the help of old friends and some newer ones.

Biography

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.