I recently (well…last Summer) published a hardback edition of my novel An Actress of Repute. In celebration of the event and to coincide with the first anniversary of the novel being published, I decided to go to one of my favourite National Trust properties: Stowe Gardens in Buckinghamshire. I then ran around the place, filming myself reading chapter excerpts in beautiful, scenic surroundings. I’ve uploaded the links here so that you are able to join me. Forgive my reading style, as I’m not the greatest narrator. But I hope the lovely surroundings will compensate, and you will get a flavour of some of the events and characters in my novel. I hope you enjoy it!
Chapter 2 Excerpt at the Pebbled Alcove
Chapter 3 Reading from The Temple of Friendship
Chapter 4 at the Palladian Bridge
Chapter 5 Miss Searle goes for an audition. Read at the Gothic Temple.
Chapter 6 Miss Searle meets actress Dorothy Jordan and, unexpectedly, a member of the Royal Family.
Chapter 7 Introducing the main villain – dancer Bella Menage.
Chapter 8 The Johnstones were the ‘Brangelina’ of British theatre.
From Chapter 9, I stay at the magnificent Temple of Concord and Victory for several readings.
Chapter 10 Ballet Director James D’Egville had a disreputable sideline that Miss Searle was unaware of.
Chapter 11 Miss Searle’s mother goes all out to save her daughter’s reputation.
Chapter 12 This theatre South of the Thames performed amazing spectacles, featuring horses, dogs and acrobats, as well as dancing and singing
Chapter 13 Miss Searle is falling for the flirtatious Mr Johnstone.
Chapter 14 Evil Bella Menage continues to be a horrible person, taking great pleasure at tormenting Miss Searle.
Chapter 15 Delightful Madame Volange has a tale or two to share backstage.
Chapter 16 An opening night disaster requires Miss Searle to take charge of the situation.
Chapter 17 There were understudies in Regency theatres. Guess who has their Cinderella moment?
Chapter 18 The moment she dreamed of has arrived…
Chapter 19 Miss Searle is completely smitten by the beauty of a very married man.
Chapter 20 It appears that all is not well with the Johnstone marriage.
Chapter 21 Bella Menage is an expert at being obnoxious.
Chapter 22 A playbill seller has an embarrassing revelation to divulge to Miss Searle’s parents about Elizabeth and a certain gentleman.
Chapter 23 Dangerous secrets find their way into Bella Menage’s hands.
Chapter 24 Elizabeth has to deal with her tiresome little brother.
Chapter 26 Miss Searle’s career is evaporating away before her eyes.
A bit of an historical link between Miss Searle and Stowe.
Chapter 27 Maria Decamp takes up Miss Searle’s cause. Will Elizabeth be brave enough to carry out the plan?
Chapter 28 Mr Cooke was one of Britain’s greatest actors. He was also a hopeless alcoholic. Miss Searle puts the plan into action.
The Temple of Venus was used in filming a scene for the TV drama Bridgerton.