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Friday, July 1, 2022
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Local author brings the world of Cecily Neville to life in debut novel

A first time author has had her debut novel CECILY published after a successful launch on Tuesday at Ludlow Castle.

Left to right: Annie’s agent Imogen Pelham, Annie, Annie’s partner Caroline Bennett, Annie’s sister in law Susan Bennett

CECILY tells the story of Cecily Neville, an English noblewoman, who lived from 1415 to 1495, the wife of Richard, Duke of York, and the mother of two kings of England, Edward IV and Richard III.

Annie Garthwaite from Shropshire had never written a book before but after being obsessed with Cecily since childhood, she decided if she did not write the novel at age 55 she never would and so she spent the next three years pouring her soul into a childhood dream.

It has been a promising start for the new author after the book was named a Sunday Times ‘top pick’ for July last weekend.

Cecily stayed close to the centre of power through 80 years of tumultuous British history: mothering two kings, bearing twelve children, burying all but two, surviving beyond her house’s ruin. For a woman at any time she is remarkable. For a woman during the 15th century, she is extraordinary.

The novel takes the reader into the world of Cecily plunging them into the closed bedchambers and bloody battlefields of the first days of the Wars of the Roses, a war as women fight it.

Written off over the centuries, her life is one of the greatest untold stories in British history and has never been bought to life like this before.

Book launch at Ludlow Castle

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The book was launched on Tuesday 27 July at Ludlow Castle, with around 100 people attending and copies signed by the author. For many years Ludlow was Cecily Neville’s home and the place where, on one fateful day in 1459, she faced down a royal army alone.

Published by Penguin, the hardback novel launched today and is also available as an ebook and audiobook.

Book signing events

Two more CECILY book signing events are scheduled.

Aardvark Books in Bucknall tomorrow 30 July and The Castle Bookshop in Ludlow on 10 August.

Tickets are available by calling Aarvark Books on 01547 530744 or for the Ludlow event The Castle Bookshop can be reached on 01584 872562.

Author Annie Garthwaite signs copies of her novel CECILY at the book launch at Ludlow Castle

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