Laura Beatty

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Books

Agent: Caroline Dawnay
Assistant: Kat Aitken

Books

Laura Beatty's debut novel POLLARD won the Authors' Club First Novel Award in 2009 and was shortlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize. She has also written two biographies, the first about Lillie Langtry which contained the first publication of correspondence between Lillie and her lover Arthur Jones, and the second about Anne Boleyn.

Her novel DARKLING was published in 2014 by Chatto & Windus and LOST PROPERTY by Atlantic Books in 2019. 

Praise for LOST PROPERTY:

‘Clever, brave and urgent. I thought about Lost Property for days after I finished it.’ Sarah Moss, author of Ghost Wall

‘Fascinating and eloquent discussion of nationalism, art and conflict, leavened with wry humour.’ Mail on Sunday

Fiction

Publication DetailsNotes

DARKLING

2014

Chatto & Windus

Mia Morgan, in the middle of her life, is a woman under siege: by memories of her late lover, by the relationship with her blind father, and by a family secret she can’t forget. She is also accused of living in the past: her days are spent amid the life and letters of Lady Brilliana Harley, who lived nearly four hundred years ago during the English Civil War.

Brilliana Harley is a Puritan, a lone Roundhead in a county of Royalists, and it is not long before her enemies sit down in siege around her. As cannon-shot rains down upon her castle, she alone must captain a garrison of men and defend her home.

Out of Brilliana’s words emerges a woman of courage and conviction, a loving mother and capable wife, dutiful even under duress. As Mia pieces her together, she finds that it is through Brilliana’s life, so different and yet so similar, that she can come to understand her own.

Darkling is a revolutionary undertaking: an echoing of two lives across the centuries, deftly weaving original seventeenth-century documents into the fabric of a modern fiction. The result is a book of voices, past and present, exquisitely observed and skilfully summoned.

POLLARD

2009

Chatto & Windus

To fifteen-year-old Anne the woods that lie beyond her house are a temporary refuge from her noisy, chaotic family, until one day she gathers her courage and steps into the woods, never to return. Slowly, she makes a new life for herself, learning to forage and to hunt, to build a house from the bounty of the woods and to listen to the voices of the trees. As she endures her first, terrible winter she develops the strength of character that will carry her through the dangers of her unconventional life and the bitter beauty of falling in love, but as the outside world encroaches on her secret existence Anne faces a terrible tragedy.

2019

Atlantic Books

In the middle of her life, a writer finds herself in a dark wood, despairing at how modern Britain has become a place of such greed and indifference. In an attempt at escape, she and her lover rent a busted-out van and journey through France and down to the Mediterranean, across Italy and the Balkans, finishing in Greece and its islands. Along the way, they drive through the Norman Conquest, the Hundred Years War, the Italian Renaissance, the Balkan wars of the 1990s and on to the current refugee crisis, encountering the shades of history, sometimes figuratively and sometimes – such as Joan of Arc, sitting pertly in the back of the van – quite literally.

As she roadtrips through 10,000 years of civilization, watching humanity repeat itself with wars over borderlines and exceed itself with the creation of timeless art, the writer begins to reckon with the very worst and the very best in our collective natures – and it is in seeing the beauty beside the ugliness, the light among the trees, that she begins to see, finally, a way for her to go home.

Non-Fiction

Publication DetailsNotes

ANNE BOLEYN, THE WIFE WHO LOST HER HEAD

2009

Chatto & Windus

Biography of Henry VIII's third wife. For 10+

LILLIE LANGTRY: Manner, Masks and Morals

1999

Chatto & Windus

Laura Beatty captures exactly the spirit of the age, and lifts the masks to reveal the real Lillie.