Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Book Tour: The Silk Weaver by Liz Trenow

The Silk Weaver by Liz Trenow

Joining me on my blog today is Liz Trenow, author of The Silk Weaver (publishing date 26th January, 2017 by Macmillan.) I'm so pleased to be hosting my first ever Author's section on the blog, with a few words about and from Liz herself! 


Anna Butterfield moves from her Suffolk country home to her uncle's house in London, to be introduced to society. A chance encounter with a local silk weaver, French immigrant Henri, throws her from her privileged upbringing to the darker, dangerous world of London's silk trade. Henri is working on his 'master piece' to make his name as a master silk weaver; Anna, meanwhile, is struggling against the constraints of her family and longing to become an artist. Henri realizes that Anna's designs could lift his work above the ordinary, and give them both an opportunity for freedom…
This is a charming story of illicit romance, set against the world of the burgeoning silk trade in eighteenth-century Spitalfields - a time of religious persecution, mass migration, racial tension and wage riots, and very different ideas of what was considered 'proper' for women.

Liz Trenow

Liz Trenow is the author of three previous historical novels: The Last Telegram, The Forgotten Seamstress and The Poppy Factory. Liz's family have been silk weavers for nearly three hundred years, and she grew up in the house next to the mill in Suffolk, England, which still operates today, weaving for top-end fashion houses and royal commissions. This unique history inspired her first two novels, and this, her fourth novel. Liz is a former journalist who spent fifteen years on regional and national newspapers, and on BBC radio and television news, before turning her hand to fiction. She lives in East Anglia, UK, with her artist husband, and they have two grown-up daughters.

I invited Liz to tell us all about her heroines and the other female characters in her book! Here's what she had to say...

My heroine, Anna, is 18 and just arrived in London from rural Suffolk, hoping that her aunt and uncle will be able to find her a suitable – wealthy – husband so she can provide for her father and disabled sister in the future. But of course she wants to marry for love, too. The problem is that she becomes fascinated by a lowly French journeyman weaver who is definitely not suitable marriage material.

I loved writing Anna. She is bright and talented and determined not to spend the rest of her life as the ornament for some rich man. I love her stubborn streak, and the way she refuses to be cowed by the conventional respectability of her aunt and uncle.

The other key female character is Miss Charlotte, an unmarried dressmaker (or costumiére) whom Anna admires for the way she runs her own business. Miss Charlotte has suffered her own difficulties but has come through to live an independent and successful life.

I ABSOLUTELY love the sound of this one. As a Francophone and Francophile alike, I love novels with a French twist to them - especially where there's a French man involved! You can buy The Silk Weaver here if you're interested in checking out this remarkable tale- I know I am! 


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