Meet the author

Regulars at our book club will already have met Christine Raafat, a regular attendee. But they might not know that Christine is a published author with a fascinating story to tell. And she’s going to be here to tell it, on Thursday April 18.

Christine  grew up in the Eden Valley, in what was then  Westmorland. An early fascination with Ancient Egypt led to an ambition  to be an archaeologist; instead she became a clinical psychologist and  married an Egyptian psychiatrist. Twins were born two years later.

She lived in East Sussex for over 20 years, working with children and families and published Parenting Skills in 1995.

Widowed and then retired, she took up painting and returned to Cumbria, but was later seduced by the fascination of words and published several magazine articles of local interest.

The Will to Succeed is her first novel, taking us back from the court of James I to the Eden Valley. The book is available from ouor local bookshops in Grasmere and Ambleside.

When the 15-year-old Lady Anne Clifford’s  father died in 1605, she was his sole surviving child and expecting to inherit the Cliffords’ great northern estates. But the Earl of Cumberland leaves a will which ignores an ancient law and bequeaths the lands to his brother, in the belief that a prophecy by his great-grandfather will eventually come true and return the estates to Anne. She and her mother vow to contest the will.

Anne spends the next three decades battling for what she believes is rightfully hers. She risks everything by opposing her husband, family and friends, the nobility, the law courts, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the King. She refuses to accept the King’s decision, whatever the consequences, but is defeated and left with the prophecy as her only  hope.

Widowed at 34, she survives an anxious period alone with her two young daughters before surprising everyone with an ill-judged second marriage and access to the highest in the land. But the Civil War destroys that power and confines the 52-year-old Anne to a grand palace in London for six years. Still convinced of her rights, will she ever attain “ye landes of mine inheritance”?

So come along on Thursday April 18, at 10.30, to meet the author and listen to Christine’s story. No booking needed, it’s free to all, and we’ll be serving tea and coffee. See you here! And of course you are welcome to stay here at the Burn How.