AN Australian author is drawing inspiration for his writings from his English ancestry
The book – which has been a year in ‘the making’ – follows Thomas Rushworth and his family, shortly after he had lost his father to consumption.
Set in 1603, times were tough – and shenanigans and skulduggery were commonplace.
Thomas, the older of two boys, has become the man of the house.
He is poised to wed Agnes in an arranged marriage, but a true love story develops between them.
The novel – which will be available in book stores from July 4 – has already earned acclaim, with one reviewer describing it as “masterful and thoroughly enjoyable. A fascinating and wonderful example of historical fiction and the old-time romance and whodunnit really added to the story. Thoroughly researched, it is written in such a way that puts you in the time and place. A must-read for the non-professional interested in the English history of the commoners at the time.”
Paul turned his hand to writing in 2015 when he embarked on a six-month project to produce a family history for his children – Rachael, Christopher and Hayley.
The resultant 400-page book traced his family back to Haworth, where his ancestors had been living since 1590.
His great-grandfather was James Rushworth I, a carpenter. He was the first to move away from the area, with his wife and nine children, in the mid 1800s.
“The history of these people is rarely thought of and even less commonly written about because there are few records – as most would have been illiterate,” says Paul.
“There is much written about the lords and ladies, but not about the common people.
“The research and description of what life may have been like gives my readers the ability to step back in time.
“It was important for me to describe in detail the day-to-day hardships and adventures people encountered and not sanitise the story for the modern literary world.
“Most importantly I wanted to use a simplified Yorkshire dialect, which at times is not easy to read but it adds to the realism and tone of the story when one becomes ‘fluent’.”
Paul was born in Maidstone, Kent, in 1962.
He emigrated to Canada with his mother as a child and spent his teenage years in Ontario. In 1982 he then emigrated to Australia to spend time with his father, Jimmy Brown, who had moved there from Yorkshire in the mid-fifties.
For more about Paul’s novels, visit paulrushworthbrownskulduggerywinterofred.com