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The Bookseller’s Wife

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The Bookseller’s Wife


Coming soon…

Books have been her only solace
Now they’re about to change her life

Based on a true story

Volume 1 of the Chiswell Street Chronicles

‘Vivid, real and full of colour’ ~ Clare Flynn, author of The Pearl of Penang

‘Dorcas is as appealing and extraordinary in her circumstances as Elizabeth Bennet or Mrs Dalloway’ ~ JJ Marsh, author of Salt of the Earth

London, 1775: The only surviving child of six, Dorcas Turton should have been heiress to a powerful family name. But after her mother’s untimely death, she is stunned by the discovery that her father’s compulsive gambling has brought them close to ruin. With the threat of debtor’s prison looming large, she must employ all her ingenuity to keep their creditors at bay.

Fortunately, ingenuity is something Dorcas is not short of. An avid reader, novels have taught her the lessons her governess failed to. Forsaking hopes of marriage and children, she opens a day-school for girls. But unbeknown to Dorcas, her father has not given up his extravagant ways. When bailiffs come pounding on the door, their only option is to take in lodgers.

The arrival of larger-than-life James Lackington and his wife Nancy breathes new life into the diminished household. Mr Lackington aspires to be a bookseller, and what James Lackington sets out to do, he tends to achieve. Soon Dorcas discovers she is not only guilty of envying Mrs Lackington her strong simple faith and adaptable nature. Loath though she is to admit it, she begins to envy her Mr Lackington…

Based on a true story, Jane Davis’s latest historical novel is for book-lovers everywhere, delivering unforgettable characters, a portrait of Georgian London on the brink of change, and a love song to the life-changing power of the written word.


‘Despite her predicament, Dorcas keeps her head and her acerbic sense of humour. The thoughts she knows better than to speak aloud are wry social and personal observations worthy of Jane Austen, who was born in the year this novel begins’ ~ Jean Gill, author of the Midwinter Dragon series

‘Every page is a treat’ ~ Alison Morton, author of the Roma Nova Series

‘Great verbal sparring between Dorcas, her father and the Lackingtons, you can see the characters in all their nuances.’ ~ Beverley Hulse

‘If you enjoy Phillipa Gregory’s novels, then you must read The Bookseller’s Wife’ ~ Bronwyn Kotze

‘Davis is adept at bringing history to life’ ~ Darlene Jones

‘If you like to be fully absorbed into a time with your fiction, and for your fiction to be supremely convincing, then I cannot recommend this enough.’ ~ Dawn Gill

‘A joy to read’ ~ Lykkes Læserier 

‘Fascinating and thought-provoking’ ~ Elizabeth M, Goodreads 

Such strong, intelligent female characters’ ~ Maria Arcara, Goodreads 



Publication Details:

Published: 13/03/2024
Book Type: ebook
Book Format: Paperback/epub/mobi
ISBN 13: 978-1-8380348-3-2

Available At These Locations: