Roddy Greenbank was brought by his father to the remote Northumberland community of Langley in the autumn of 1807. Within hours of their arrival, however, the father had met with a violent death and the boy was left with all memory gone.
Roddy Greenbank was brought by his father to the remote Northumberland community of langley in the autumn of 1807. Within hours of their arrival, however, the father had met with a violent death and the boy left with all memory gone of his past life. Hal Roystan was without a family, his father missing and believed to have robbed his employers. It was a belief Hal bitterly rejected and he became filled with a growing determination to make his way in life and to bring retribution where the real guilt lay. Mary Ellen Lee, even as a girl, was said to have 'a tongue that would clip clouts' and already displated all the spirit and forthrightness that would stamp her as a woman. These three stand at the heart of a richly eventful narrative that spans the first half of the nineteenth century, their lives lastingly intertwined by the inexorable demands of a strange and sometimes cruel destiny.
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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.
A Dinner of Herbs by Catherine Cookson
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