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A remarkable life lost to history is brought into sharp focus
England, 1575. Young Mary Sidney is bearing a devastating loss while her father plans her alliance to Henry Herbert, Earl of Pembroke. But Mary is determined to make her mark on the world as a writer and scientist.
As Mary Sidney Herbert steps into her new life with the earl at his home, Wilton House, an unusual friendship is forged between her and servant Rose Commin, a country girl with a surprising artistic gift, that will change their lives for ever.
Defying the conventions of their time, mistress and maid will face the triumphs, revelations and dangers that lie ahead together.
‘An artful tale of spirit and courage … Rich and engaging’ Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale of the Time Being
‘A tribute to the strong women of the times … I wholeheartedly recommend it’ Margaret George, author of The Autobiography of Henry VIII
A beautifully crafted book that I found impossible to put down. Naomi Miller’s debut novel reflects the significance of Mary Sidney’s contributions as a writer, a musician, a patron, and a scientist, but above all it captures Sidney’s humanity – her losses, her loves, and her hopes and dreams. Sidney’s relationship with her servant Rose becomes a deeply moving narrative arc for the story that immerses readers in the textures of women’s experiences in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England.