Title: The Master of Measham Hall
Author: Anna Abney
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: 15th July 2021
1665. It is five years since King Charles II returned from exile, the scars of the English Civil Wars are yet to heal and now the Great Plague engulfs the land. Alethea Hawthorne is safe inside the walls of the Calverton household as a lady’s companion waiting in anticipation of the day she can return to her ancestral home of Measham Hall.
But when Alethea suddenly finds herself cast out on the plague-ridden streets of London, a long road to Derbyshire lies ahead. Militias have closed their boroughs off to outsiders for fear of contamination.
Fortune smiles on her when Jack appears, an unlikely travelling companion who helps this determined girl to navigate a perilous new world of religious dissenters, charlatans and a pestilence that afflicts peasants and lords alike.
The gorgeous cover of The Master of Measham Hall completely caught my attention when I first saw it and luckily the book itself is just as fantastic! The story follows a young woman, Alethea, in Restoration Era England. She is a lady’s companion in the Calverton household but desperate to get back to her ancestral home, Measham Hall. However, she soon finds herself unceremoniously cast out on the London streets which are rife with plague. What follows is her eventful journey home, full of danger and intrigue.
The best historical novels are the ones that completely transport the reader to that time and place and The Master of Measham Hall does that very well. The author has clearly been meticulous in her research and the book is beautifully written. It is set in an exceptionally turbulent era of English history and one that I find incredibly interesting so I was totally drawn into the setting. Religious, social and idealogical conflicts are present in every section of society and it makes for a fascinating novel. It is also a frighteningly relevant one, which sounds bizarre when talking about the 17th century – but there are definite parallels to be drawn with the current pandemic. Overall I found The Master of Measham Hall a thoroughly engrossing and well written historical adventure and a promising start to a new series!
Thank you so much to Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours for inviting me on this tour and organising it. I kindly received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.