Author: thesylepress

Not a true lady

It was Sarnia’s habit to cross the road by the entrance to Chancery Lane, where the sweeper was Gimpy Jimmy. He was a tall thin white-haired man who had left a leg in Spain, fighting under the Duke’s command. He would never accept a coin from her, and she had ceased to urge it on him. He was puzzled, she knew, by the fact that, although a lady in appearance, she went to work. He himself was not in need of money. The position was a good one, and he had lived frugally and saved over the years.


Hilary Ford on the genesis of Sarnia: I envisaged a woman of the late nineteenth century marrying into this milieu, finding it unendurable and fleeing back with her child to the more ordinary hazards of...


Life holds no prospect of luxury or excitement after Sarnia’s beloved mother dies: potential suitors vanish into thin air once they realise that marriage to the orphan will never bring a dowry. Yet her post as a lady clerk in a London banking house keeps the wolf from the door …