The House at
1611. Celia Lamprey looks out across the rooftops of Aleppo for the last time. After ten years of living in the Orient, she and her husband, Paul Pindar, are setting sail for England - taking with them the legendary diamond, the Sultan's Blue, despite the curse that surrounds it.
They arrive to find a country much changed; Bishopsgate, once surrounded by fields, is now a muddy thoroughfare choked with carriages - from which carpenters, gardeners and footmen descend, summoned to restore Pindar's great house to its former splendour
But all is not as it seems. Celia is frail, and the marriage childless. Between the couple lies a great, unspoken darkness. Now, as they await the arrival of Celia's friend Annetta from Venice, another woman, the alluring widow Frances Sydenham, becomes increasingly indispensable to the running of the household - and the happiness of its inhabitants.
But who is this strange woman, and what are her real motives?
The House at Bishopsgate
‘Hickman is a true master of historical fiction…..[The House at Bishopsgate] hooks you from the very start, unravelling slowly and elaborately through Hickman’s beguiling story-telling. It’s both a gripping and unsettling tale, interwoven with an air of mystery throughout.’
‘Thrilling tales . . . There have been other studies of the British
memsahibs but none so focused on the adventurous and
unconventional, and none more conscientiously researched,
historically sound and compellingly written. An excellent book’
John Keay, Evening Standard
‘Skill as a historian doesn’t guarantee equal ability as a novelist, but Hickman’s latest work of fiction balances knowledge, atmosphere and story beautifully.’
The Mail on Sunday
‘Hickman is a born story-teller. A hugely enjoyable read.’
‘Transporting readers back to 17th-Century England, this exceptionally engaging third entry in Hickman’s ‘Aviary Gate’ series, can be read and enjoyed on its own. Historical fiction fans and readers looking for a riveting tale with an aura of mystery with be enthralled.’
Library Journal (US)
‘Katie Hickman has created a world filled with love, intrigue, ambition and mystery. The House at Bishopsgate is a completely absorbing and delightful novel.’
Dr Amanda Foreman
Katie Hickman is the best-selling author of ten books. Her most recent work, Brave Hearted, was preceded by She-Merchants, Buccaneers and Gentlewomen: British Women in India 1600 - 1900 (published in 2019), and by the highly-acclaimed series of novels, The Aviary Gate, The Pindar Diamond and The House at Bishopsgate, a trilogy set in early seventeenth century Constantinople, Venice, London, and rural Wiltshire.
She is also the author of two best-selling history books, Courtesans and Daughters of Britannia, which between them have sold more than quarter of a million copies worldwide. Her other works include two travel books, Travels with a Mexican Circus (republished by Bloomsbury in August 2014) which was shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award in 1993, and Dreams of the Peaceful Dragon, the story of a journey on horseback across the forbidden Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. Her first novel, The Quetzal Summer, was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award. Her books have been translated into 20 languages.
Katie Hickman lives on a converted barge on the Thames in London with her partner, the designer Matthew Ruscombe-King.