I can't beleive it's been five years since I published my first novel 'Amy, The Story of a Coram Foundling', back in 2017. Now I've just published my second novel 'Lavender Fields'.
It's an homage to my hometown of Mitcham in South West London, which was famous in the 19th Century for its lavender production. I was first inspired to write about the Victorian version of Mitcham by looking at some old photos which depicted large open-spaced lavender fields where there is now urban sprawl. My house is actually built on a former lavender field!
As with everyone else in the world, a lot of things have changed since then. The awful Covid 19 pandemic, that turned everyone's lives upside down, and which we look like we're coming out of (as of March 2022). But on a personal level, I split with my husband in 2019, and we're now divorced, so it's just me and my two boys now.
I've spent the past 33 years of my other life as a telecoms engineer, but all of my life devising plots and ideas for many novels. My first stab at writing was at the age of 11, when I was inspired by the 1981 TV adaptation of 'Brideshead Revisited'. It was about a similar romp around a stately home, but unsurprisingly, not up to Evelyn Waugh. I remember falling madly in love with Anthony Andrews, and ironically I worked in his house in Belgravia twenty years later, installing a telephone line. Sadly, he wasn't there at the time.
I was born, and have lived and worked in London all my life. My education was woeful, typical of most working-class kids of '70's, and I could barely read when I left secondary school. I managed to drag myself through the sixth form and two years at Brixton College, before working for BT as an engineer where I was (and still am) the only woman working with two hundred blokes!
I know it sounds like an old cliché, but my education started when I left school, and I truly have been attending the University of Life ever since.
I am now divorced with two beautiful sons, and after the birth of my youngest son in 2009, I took a slightly more sedate role within BT, when I managed to convince myself to start writing down some of the ideas for novels that I have had clanging around in my brain for the past forty-odd years. I thought it was better to drag them out before the menopause and then dementia kick in.
My novels are almost all set in the past, as I'm what I describe as a history nut, and are all set in my beloved London, so they unite my two passions. They are all seen from a working-class female point of view and feature the very lowest and down trodden of society, like servants and prostitutes or victims of cruelty or abuse.
I hope to give these, so far, voiceless under-class a real voice in a realistic, authentic and un-sanitised depiction of history.
I hope you enjoy some of the yarns that I have devised, for they are sometimes funny, sometimes sad, very adult, and above all entertaining.
Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite
Amy: The History Of A Coram Foundling is written by Angie Northey. Amy began life as an orphan in the Coram Foundling Hospital, where she received very little love, but was given a lot of rules and regulations to follow. Amy always tried her best to be respectful and follow the rules and she was a favorite at the Foundling Hospital. On turning fourteen, her time was up at Coram and she was placed in the Bessborough household. Lady Caroline had mental problems that only Amy could keep in check and Amy was immediately assigned to be Lady Caroline's personal maid. Amy and Caroline became close friends (as much as was allowed between the classes) for many years. John and Freddy Bessborough were Caroline’s brothers and became infatuated with Amy, a girl they both thought was beautiful, sweet tempered and caring. Amy found herself loving both brothers which caused many a problem. Caroline married into the Lamb family and the men of this family also found Amy appealing. Conflict caused her to finally leave Lady Caroline and her next stop was as a housekeeper for Lord Byron, a strange man with odd ideas and he too fell in love with Amy. The many predicaments that Amy finds herself in make this story so enticing and I do not want to spoil the story by telling readers much more.
I loved every one of the many pages of Amy: The History Of A Coram Foundling by Angie Northey. Although it took me a while to read, it was certainly well worth my time. I came to love Amy and her story that spanned the late 1780s of London society. Amy: The History Of A Coram Foundling expertly presents the class system, the politics of the day, and the life of one poor girl to perfection. Angie Northey is a brilliant author who made me feel as though I was immersed in the story and was personal friends with all of the characters. I highly recommend you to read this story as soon as possible because it will not disappoint.