Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Gilded Lily by Deborah Swift - a historical adventure

There is no greater compliment than 'Give me more!' Susanna Gregory Impeccably written historical fiction Let Them Read Books The author excels in making the reader care for the two girlsHistorical Tapestry hooked from the first chapter - even the first page...I loved it Peeking Between the Pages the plot is gripping with plenty of twists and turns History and WomenBeautifully written and meticulously researched, the novel drew me straight into the teeming streets of Restoration London. an addictive, page-turning read.Mary Sharratt A fast-paced adventure peopled with ruthless villains and feisty heroines whose exploits grab the imagination and add suspense and excitement to a historical gem Lancashire Evening Post

An excerpt from The Gilded Lily by Deborah Swift

Sadie saw straight away that it was good news. When Ella came
in, her face was r osy and dimpled with smiles and she hugged
Sadie hard, almost squeezing the breath out of her, something she
had not done once since they came to London.

‘What do you think?’ Ella said. ‘I’m to be in a parlour tempting
ladies to buy belladonna and ceruse, and lavender oil, and
morning dew.’

‘A perfume seller?’

‘No, not just any old perfume seller. I’m to be dressed up
like a lady – Mr Whitgift himself picked out a fine gown for me,
yards and yards of red silk, enough for . . . oh, six petticoats –’
she danced Sadie round the table – ‘and he said I’m as pretty as a
poppy in a field. He wants me to dress my hair fancy, and—’

‘Stop, I’m getting dizzy.’ Sadie broke away from Ella’s embrace.
‘How much are you getting?’

‘Nineteen shilling a month.’

Sadie gasped. It was far more than she got at the wig shop.

‘I’m to start day after tomorrow. Won’t get my first pay till
the end of the month though.’

‘Oh, Ell, what luck! We’ll have to scrape till payday though,
we’ve barely enough to feed ourselves. But there’s still my portion
from the wig shop coming in, that’ll cover the rent.’

‘We’ll take on a better place as soon as I’ve got my feet under
the table. I’ll make myself necessary. There’s an old Mr Whitgift
too, the father. They don’t get on. He’s a crabbit old skinfl int by
all accounts. But I’m after twisting the old gent around my fi nger.
I’m good with old men.’

Sadie felt a qualm of misgiving. ‘You’ve hardly set foot in the
place yet, don’t start getting grand ideas. And don’t go against
Josiah Whitgift or you could end up back in the gunpowder

‘Oh, clap a stopper in it. I know what I’m doing. You always
put a dampener on everything. Can’t you just be pleased for me?’

‘Course I’m pleased, I just worry in case it doesn’t work out.
We still have to buy barley for bread, and we’re all but out of
tallow for rushlights. I don’t want you taking risks before you
see a penny for your work. And I don’t trust that Josiah Whitgift.
Corey and Betsy told me there’s shady things go on round his

No comments: