Barbara Erskine’s beloved classic LADY OF HAY has been continuously in print for 30 years and has sold more than 3 million copies. Today, to mark the 30-year anniversary since its original publication, HarperCollins publish Erskine’s record-breaking debut in a special limited edition hardback of 1,000 signed copies.
Erskine’s ‘fascinating, absorbing, and gripping’ LADY OF HAY has been described as ‘a fast-paced historical romance with the tension of a modern thriller’. It tells the story of Jo Clifford, a journalist in London who plans to debunk the belief in past-lives in a hard-hitting magazine piece. But her scepticism is shaken when a hypnotist forces her to relive the experiences of Matilda, Lady of Hay, a noblewoman during the reign of King John.
She learns of Matilda's unhappy marriage, her love for the handsome Richard de Clare, and the brutal death threats handed out by King John, before it becomes clear that Jo’s past and present are inevitably entwined. She realises that eight hundred years on, Matilda’s story of secret passion and unspeakable treachery is about to repeat itself …
The collectors’ edition of LADY OF HAY is available today, ahead of the paperback publication of Barbara Erskine’s latest novel SLEEPER’S CASTLE on 6 April. SLEEPER’S CASTLE returns to Hay again (where Erskine also lives) and spent many weeks in the Sunday Times bestseller lists on its hardback publication in 2016.
Barbara Erskine says: ‘In so many ways Carole Blake, my much-missed and beloved agent, was as much the author of LADY OF HAY as I am. She read my original 1,000 (at least) page manuscript, she spotted its potential, she moved heaven and earth to find a publisher for what was at the time a deeply unfashionable genre and she helped create what became for many people a legend. I owe her the most enormous debt of gratitude. I am so pleased she saw a proof of this lovely edition before she died – and thought it as beautiful as I do.'
Isobel Dixon of Blake Friedmann says, ‘LADY OF HAY was a novel that Carole was absolutely passionate about, and the story of how she sold it speaks of that passion and perseverance, a true lesson for any agent. Kim Young at HarperCollins has done a brilliant job with SLEEPER’S CASTLE and with this special edition: the gorgeous emerald green hardback is a jewel in Barbara’s crown and will be a treasure for her many fans – and I know how extraordinarily proud Carole would be today.’
Barbara will appear at the Charroux Festival in France on 24 August, to talk about her inspiration and her novels spanning the past 30 years from her debut LADY OF HAY to her latest bestseller, SLEEPER’S CASTLE. She will also be at the Wrexham Carnival of Words on 6 May.
Praise for Barbara Erskine and LADY OF HAY:
'The Queen of time-slip epics.' – The Bookseller
'Stephen King meets Ruth Rendell.' – Frank Delaney
‘Fascinating, absorbing, original – all such praise comes easily when describing Barbara Erskine’s Lady of Hay. But perhaps the most suitable world is hypnotic.’ -- SHE
'The author's storytelling talent is undeniable. Barbara Erskine can make us feel the cold, smell the filth and experience some of the fear of the power of evil men.' – The Times
‘Unusual, intriguing, cleverly handled and gripping.’ – The Good Book Guide
‘A record breaker whichever way you look at it…a rattling good romance-cum-thriller.’ – MS London
‘A most intriguing novel … very cleverly handled, and gripping. I couldn’t put it down.’ – Maidenhead Advertiser
‘A fast-paced passionate historical romance with the tension of a modern thriller…fascinating and memorable. – Ealing Gazette
About Barbara Erskine
An historian by training, Barbara Erskine is the author of 14 bestselling novels, beginning with the much-loved classic, LADY OF HAY, which has sold over 3 million copies. She has also published three highly successful volumes of short stories. Her books, which have appeared in 24 languages, demonstrate her masterful storytelling abilities and her fascination with history and the supernatural. She lives with her family in an old police station in Hay-on-Wye.
Follow Barbara on Twitter