Janet Ellis

Janet Ellis

Here’s one she made earlier – former Blue Peter presenter pens her first novel.

Janet Ellis trained as an actress at the Central School of Speech and Drama and might be best known for presenting Blue Peter. She recently graduated from the Curtis Brown creative writing school and has stepped away from Fairy liquid bottles and sticky back plastic to delve into the dark world of Georgian England.

The Butcher’s Hook is set in London in the summer of 1763. At 19, Anne Jaccob is awakened to the possibility of joy when she meets Fub, the butcher's apprentice, and begins to imagine a life of passion with him. The only daughter of well-to-do parents, Anne lives a sheltered life. Her home is a miserable place. Though her family want for nothing, her father is uncaring, her mother is ailing, and the baby brother who taught her to love is dead. Unfortunately her parents have already chosen a more suitable husband for her than Fub. But Anne is a determined young woman, with an idiosyncratic moral compass. In the matter of pursuing her own happiness, she shows no fear or hesitation, even if it means getting a little blood on her hands.

A vivid and surprising tale, The Butcher's Hook brims with the colour and atmosphere of Georgian London, as seen through the eyes of a strange and memorable young woman.

Read the Guardian’s review of The Butcher’s Hook.

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