Books

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.

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 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.

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 . . .

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 . . .

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 Round Tower

Catherine Cookson

Vanessa Ratcliffe is just sixteen, daughter of one of the town's richest men. And in spite of her social standing and convent education Vanessa's provocative manner often draws envious eyes in her direction.

Angus Cotton is a rough diamond, living in filthy Ryder's Row, but as engineer at Affleck and Tate he's worth his weight in gold. Angus has ambitious plans for his future, plans that had never included Vanessa - until now . . .

The Round Tower is a beautifully imagined story of power, love, honour and greed and an award-winning novel from one of Britain's most popular novelists.

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 Simple Soul And Other Stories

Catherine Cookson

This treasure trove of talent is set against the background of places already familiar to Catherine Cookson's countless readers - the North-East, the South Coast and London, with a time-scale stretching from the 1920's to the present day.

In the title story, a disillusioned husband decides to call on an office colleague he has always slightly despised, and finds himself having to re-evaluate his own family relationships in the light of what he discovers in the other's home. In the three stories that make up 'The Forbidden Word', the first set in the 1920s, the second in the 1950s and the third in the1980s, Catherine Cookson traces the changes in attitudes to marriage and pregnancy that have taken place in the last eighty years.

In other stories a shy bachelor begins to make friends for the first time in his life among the people who like himself have taken refuge from the Blitz in the London Underground, and a much put-upon young woman who makes up her own mind to escape from her family's domestic exploitation of her. The reader catches a glimpse behind the scenes in a large department store, and learns of the havoc that a husband's passion for cricket can cause.

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.

Kate Hannigan's Girl

Catherine Cookson

It is the early 1920s and Kate Hannigan is happily married to Dr Rodney Prince, who has willingly accepted her illegitimate daughter, Annie, as the eldest child of their household. Everything seems to be going well for the Prince family, but soon spiteful rumours about Kate's earlier life seem to haunt both her and Annie - an insidious threat that revives memories of the poverty and narrowness of life in the Fifteen Streets district that they have so recently left behind.

Annie will be faced with some of the problems that earlier beset her mother: religious prejudice and a choice between two different ways of life - the comfortable middle-class existence offered by Brian Stannard and the uncertain prospects of Terence McBane, a brilliant mathematician from the underprivileged world Annie and her mother have just escaped.

In the sequel to Kate Hannigan, Cookson's first published novel, Kate's daughter Annie must find the strength and maturity to overcome the troubles that threaten to engulf her.

A House Divided

Catherine Cookson

At the end of the Second World War, Matthew Wallingham returns to his family home, blinded by his injuries and uncertain about his future. There he finds his father ill, his mother obviously unhappy, and his brother, who has made a success of running the farm on the family's estate during the war years, resentful that Matthew should think he can now offer help.

Forced to realise that his plans for the future are not going to work, Matthew starts to look for a new career. He finds himself becoming dependent on Liz - his nurse and, increasingly, the focus of all his thoughts and hopes. But Liz herself has a shadow hanging over her that will bring a terrifying violence into the Wallingham's family life...

Set in the aftermath of the Second World War, A House Divided encompasses the social change taking place and the pains and pleasures of the brave new world of peace.

The Thursday Friend

Catherine Cookson

Hannah and Humphrey Drayton were regarded by all who knew them as the perfect married couple. However, Hannah soon came to realise that this stuffy, City broker was stifling her with his insistence that she should always comply with his wishes. The only relief she had from his tyranny was his absence on Thursday evenings, when he played bridge with a group of acquaintances, and at weekends, which he spent with an elderly couple who regarded him as the son they had never had.

Hannah, in despair and in the face of her husband's ridicule, took refuge in her writing, and it was the completion of a book for children and an advertisement in the local newspaper that took her to the office of a publisher, a visit that was to change her life. There she was to meet David Graventon, an assistant to the publisher, and a man she was soon to think of as her Thursday friend. Taking advantage of Humphrey's absences, she and David would meet and talk, visit the theatre and the cinema - activities she had never enjoyed with her husband. He, of course, knew nothing of Hannah's 'other life', being preoccupied with protecting what he imagined were his future interests. But Humphrey had his own secrets; and when events occurred that he could not control, the outcome for his ambitions was entirely unexpected.

As for Hannah, her Thursday friend was to become the saviour of her very existence - but would he manage to resolve his own not inconsiderable personal difficulties and offer Hannah the happiness she craved?

With its deceptively simple theme, The Thursday Friend is a remarkable novel that displays Catherine Cookson's consummate ability to explore human relationships. It will enjoy immense popularity among her many readers throughout the world.

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 bestselling 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.