The Dance of Love
is a historical romance, a love story with a serious heart, that tells of the difficulty of marrying for love in a society that brokered its marriages to preserve money, land, titles and bloodline. A society in which the bride- and groom-to-be were often treated like pawns, not human beings with beating hearts and enquiring minds.
The novel is set in the British, Edwardian, aristocratic Downton-Abbey society whose strictures and rules the novel’s protagonist, the young, spirited and beautiful Natalie Edwardes, would like to outwit. (The character of Natalie Edwardes was inspired by my own great-grandmother, Noël Rothes, who showed great courage and selflessness after RMS Titanic sank.) The effect of the tragic sinking on the fictional Natalie Edwardes is also profound: afterwards she discovers what love really means and the sacrifice she must make. And as she changes, so the society in which she lives is irrevocably changed by the First World War.
THE DANCE of LOVE is a coming-of-age novel set between 1899 and 1919. You can order it from the Kew, Sheen or Barnes Bookshops (my locals); Waterstone’s, or your local independent bookshop. Or from The Book Depository with free worldwide postage. If you’d like an electronic edition of THE DANCE of LOVE you can order it here.
You can read about the writing of THE DANCE of LOVE, and how I did (and didn’t) turn fact into fiction at Shiny New Books, and here’s a link to an article in YOU Magazine about my great-grandmother’s experience when RMS Titanic sank. Here also is a SHORT STORY called KEEL SONGS which I wrote before I wrote THE DANCE of LOVE and which SHINY NEW BOOKS published in its BookBuzz section, Issue 7.
Arts Council England awarded me a grant to rewrite this book and I’m very grateful. It would have been a struggle to continue without it.