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The Maypole

The Maypole is a bewitching love story, drawn from the old tradition and lustily retold. It tells of a fated passion, of loves betrayed and yet, ultimately redeemed, of desire transfigured.


Published 1990, Minerva












'A superb novel of violence and love, earthy as Chaucer. A small masterpiece.'

- David Hughes The Mail on Sunday





Fire's Astonishment
Fire's Astonishment

Both adventure and love story, Fires Astonishment is violent and tender, utterly beguiling. Subtly witty, a fast moving, multi-stranded story whose resolution is uncertain to the very last moment. 


Published 1991, Minerva










''Definitely adult fun, the writing gutsy, vivid and economical, the observation shrewd... an exceptionally well written, spirit-lifting good read.'

-Independent on Sunday 


'Written in a brisk,concrete, yet elegant style, the sort of prose that would be a pleasure to read for its own sake'. 

- Guardian


'Her prose is elegant, powerful, witty; and this book must surely be amongst her most accomplished.'

- Awfully Big Blog Adventure Reviews






Vainglory is a sumptious tale of obsessive love, chivalry and ambition, set in fifteenth-century France, centred upon the beautiful Chateau Gloriole and five turbulent generations of its lords and ladies.


Published 1991, Jonathan Cape









'This is a saga with a difference...such invigorating little drops of satire.' 

-Sunday Times


'It is a model of how this sort of thing should be done.' 

- Daily Telegraph


Lovesong is an outstanding historical saga, at once a gripping narrative and provoking novel of ideas... a massive landscape full of extraordinary characters in a world shaped by art, religion and war.


Published 1996, Richard Cohen Books Ltd









'Probably the best historical novel I have ever read'

- Philippa Gregory, Sunday Times


'McCaughrean... is well on her way to becoming one of the few great novelists to adorn our age.'

- David Hughes, Mail on Sunday

Ideal Wife
The Ideal Wife

An extraordinary novel about the ordinary spiralling out of control. Robin Wooton decides to create the perfect wife by "educating" two foundling girls, selecting the one that conforms to his Rousseauian ideals to be his bride. However he is slow to make his choice, while the girls compete for him with increasingly desperate rivalry. McCaughrean brings 1790s England vividly to life, her unique humour and powers of characterisation evoking a hardyesque back drop to a timeless drama. 


Published 1997 Richard Cohen Books Ltd









'A fine historical novel, emotionally absorbing and thought provoking as any in a contemporary setting. McCaughrean's writing is a pleasure to read.'

- Phillipa Gregory, Sunday Times.  


'In a strong, fast flowing narrative McCaughrean ... brings the 1790s vibrantly to life.'

-     Gillian Fairchild, Daily Telegraph

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