Today I’m delighted to welcome Anne to my blog. When she wrote the letter she’s brought, she existed only as a flashback, because the letter pre-dates the novel she comes from: The Road to Newgate by Kate Braithwaite. Anne has just eloped with Nathaniel Thompson, a man deemed unsuitable by her family.
Fourteenth day of June 1678
By now Mother and Father have my letter and I am married. I am sorry for nothing but that you will have to bear their anger. Father will harp at length – I can imagine it most clearly – about my husband’s unsuitability and the betrayal he doubtless believes this is. Mother will bear it more quietly, but we both know she will side with him.
Can we hope that you and James will be our friends? Nathaniel is not what our father says. He has a position and talent. He is the Licenser of the Presses – James himself said it was an important role. Remember, he told us both that Nathaniel’s future prospects are excellent. He is not wealthy now, it’s true, but he is good and kind and clever. And so very handsome, Sarah!
Don’t write back to tell me we have been too hasty. Bite your tongue and still your pen, if you love me. We have not known each other long, it is true, but I know his heart, dear sister. What could be more important?
Come and visit us? Write to me. Promise you will come. Our home is not what you are used to – be prepared for a surprise, dear one – but it is clean and neat and I am determined to learn to manage everything. Tomorrow, Nat’s friend and publisher Henry Broome is to visit us after dinner. I do so hope to make a good impression. Visit me in a day or two and I will tell you all.
I’m told, although I won’t, of course, pass this on to my visitor, that only a few months after this letter, Anne and Nat’s young marriage will be tested when Nat becomes involved in an attempt to discredit the Popish Plot and its author, Titus Oates.
About The Road to Newgate
What price justice?
Titus Oates, an unknown preacher, creates panic with wild stories of a Catholic uprising against Charles II. The murder of a prominent Protestant magistrate appears to confirm that the Popish Plot is real.
Only Nathaniel Thompson, writer and Licenser of the Presses, instinctively doubts Oates’s revelations. Even his young wife, Anne, is not so sure. And neither know that their friend William Smith has personal history with Titus Oates.
When Nathaniel takes a public stand, questioning the plot and Oates’s integrity, the consequences threaten them all.
The Road to Newgate is available to pre-order from Amazon.
About Kate Braithwaite
Kate Braithwaite was born and grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her first novel, Charlatan, was longlisted for the Mslexia New Novel Award and the Historical Novel Society Award. Kate lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and three children.
The Road to Newgate, a story of love, lies and injustice in 17th century London will be published by Crooked Cat Books on July 16th.
Find out more about Kate on her website.