Sarah Burton

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Books

Agent: Sarah Ballard
(represented by Eli Keren)
Working with: Eli Keren

Books

Dr. Sarah Burton is the author of three works of non-fiction and two books for children. She served as course director of Cambridge University’s MSt in Creative Writing and has taught at Royal Holloway College, Goldsmiths’ College, the London School of Journalism and the University of Oxford. She has also written extensively for BBC History Magazine and has reviwed for the Times, Spectator, Guardian and Independent. THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF H is her debut novel for adults.

Forthcoming Publication: THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF H - Legend Press - 2020

Orphaned young, H is sent to live with her wealthy and doting aunt in London. London is good to her, and H’s life is a happy one until her lecherous cousin Roger robs her of her innocence, and the plague arrives to take from her the city and the people she loves. H is cast out – friendless, pregnant and destitute – into the rapidly emptying streets of London under quarantine.

When the plague finally lifts, and without a home or family to return to, H falls into the care and employment of Mother Cresswell, an infamous Clerkenwell bawd. It is under her watch that H endeavours to make a new kind of life for herself, and to use all the tools at her disposal to ensure that she never falls into poverty again. H will face a villain out for revenge, find love in the most unexpected places, and overcome a betrayal that she never could have foreseen – weathering it all, she will charm or scheme her way to the life of freedom and autonomy that she longs for.

Non-Fiction

Publication DetailsNotes
2003

Viking

The little known story of the inseparable brother and sister, lights of the Romantic circle, privately haunted by madness.

Wordsworth thought that if there were such a thing as a good man, it would be Charles Lamb, while Hazlitt believed Mary Lamb to be the only sensible woman he knew. The couple's literary reputation rested partly on the famous Tales from Shakespeare. And yet there was an unhappier side: Charles was an alcoholic and Mary, in an attack of insanity, stabbed their mother to death.

This fascinating account reaches to the heart of early nineteenth century London, meeting its eccentrics and its literary giants. It also visits the city's darker corners, where poverty stalks rented rooms and madhouses conceal terrible abuse.

2000

Viking

Sarah Burton's brilliant exposition of the bold and bizarre world of the impostor is peopled by a huge cast of adventurers and escapologists: from a servant girl passing as a princess, a footman turned cannibal chief to university professors and surgeons with no qualifications other than genius. More than simply an exploration of how impostors succeed and why they feel compelled literally to change their lives, Impostors is also a meditation on identity, truth and trust.

Children's

Publication DetailsNotes
2013

Short Books

When his teacher sets the class a History project, Sam cannot choose which bit of History he prefers, so decides to do ALL OF IT.

His version of History is a rumbustious collection of half-remembered facts, assembled roughly in the right order, and glued together with alarmingly confident misunderstanding.

And yet our endearing narrator somehow inadvertently hits the nail on the head every time as when he sagely observes that the Suffragettes' hunger strikes paid off 'in the name of Female Emaciation', or that before Shakespeare came along 'everyone had been a bit rubbish at poetry' (notwithstanding 'Jeffrey Chortler, saviour of the Middle Agers').

Sam takes us from Ancient Egypt right up to Last Week with the flair of a bright-eyed nine-year-old. Rumour has it he is now working on an even more ambitious tome, The Entire World and Everything In It.

2008

Floris Books

The storyteller's tale is one we think we all know: the story of Mary and Joseph and the birth of a very special baby. But do we really know it? This unique retelling weaves ancient nativity legends - now largely forgotten - into the familiar narrative. Its short chapters make it ideal for nightly Advent readings or bedtime storytelling. Children will re-discover the wonder of this great story by hearing it from some less common angles and even parents will appreciate the fresh perspective.