Saturday, June 9, 2018

Anne O’Brien on giving voice to history’s women

By her own admission, Anne O’Brien is an accidental author. A history teacher by profession, it was only when she moved from her native Yorkshire to Herefordshire that she decided to have a go at writing a book and even then she assumed it would be nothing more than a pleasant way to fill her new-found spare time. 

“What changed was discovering the story of Anne Neville, the daughter of the incredibly powerful Earl of Warwick." 

O’Brien’s previous novels have focused on the likes of Lady Katherine Swynford, mistress to the merciless royal prince John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, Joanna of Navarre, widow of the Duke of Brittany, and Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine. Her latest, Queen of the North, continues the theme, opening in 1399 and focusing on Elizabeth Mortimer.

O’Brien hasn’t yet exhausted the medieval period and with historical fiction second only to crime when it comes to attracting a loyal readership she also believes there is a market for strong women in literature.

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