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Authors: Jane Sanderson

Tags: #Fiction, #Historical

Eden Falls

BOOK: Eden Falls
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About the Author

Jane Sanderson is a former BBC radio producer, and has used some of her own family history as background for her novels. She is married to author and journalist Brian Viner. They have three children and live in Herefordshire.

Also by Jane Sanderson




Published by Sphere

ISBN: 9781405517980

All characters and events in this publication, other than those clearly in the public domain, are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright © 2013 Jane Sanderson

The moral right of the author has been asserted.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the publisher.

The publisher is not responsible for websites (or their content) that are not owned by the publisher.


Little, Brown Book Group

100 Victoria Embankment

London, EC4Y 0DY

Table of Contents

About the Author

Also by Jane Sanderson





Principal Characters

Part One

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Part Two

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Part Three

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52


Q&A with Jane Sanderson

For Eleanor, Joseph and Jacob – cool runnings


he following background is intended for those readers who are unfamiliar with
When Arthur Williams is killed in a mining accident in 1903, Eve Williams has to find a way to support herself and her three young children, Seth, Eliza and Ellen. She does this by selling her home-cooked pies and pastries, supported in the venture by Anna Rabinovich, a young Russian widow who lodges in Eve’s house with her baby daughter Maya.

Eve’s enterprise attracts the attention of Teddy Hoyland, the Sixth Earl of Netherwood, who invests in her business, making it possible to move into new, large premises in Netherwood. Amos Sykes, a miner and union activist, and former colleague and friend of the late Arthur Williams, advises Eve not to accept help from the earl who, as the owner of Netherwood’s collieries, is Amos’s natural foe. However, Eve ignores his advice and the venture grows from strength to strength. Amos falls in love with Eve and proposes marriage, but is gently rebuffed. He throws himself into trade-union activity, and is sacked from the colliery for his efforts, but is promptly offered new employment with the Yorkshire Miners’ Association.

Eve meets her future second husband when she works for a short time for the Countess of Netherwood at their London home in Belgravia. Daniel McLeod is head gardener there, and he takes a position at Netherwood Hall in order to marry Eve. Her oldest child, Seth, initially resents Daniel, although gradually he comes to terms with his presence in the family.

With Anna and Maya, the increasingly prosperous family move to Ravenscliffe, a detached house on Netherwood Common. Eve’s brother, Silas Whittam, has by now entered the story, having come back into her life after a sixteen-year absence, during which he made his fortune as an importer of bananas from Jamaica. Eve is delighted to see him, and makes him welcome, but Anna, Amos and Daniel find him abrasive and untrustworthy. Silas has little interest in their opinion, however; his priority is to rekindle the closeness that he and his sister shared during the years of their impoverished childhood. These days, he is an ambitious man. He buys a colliery near Netherwood to supply his own steam ships with coal, and he plans to build a hotel near Port Antonio in Jamaica, and expand his business interests into tourism.

When Teddy Hoyland, the earl, is killed in a freak accident in 1905, his elder son, Tobias, inherits the title. Tobias marries a lively American, Dorothea Stirling, whom everyone calls Thea, apart from Tobias’s mother Clarissa Hoyland, the dowager countess, who disapproves vehemently of the match and always uses her daughter-in-law’s full name. Thea is a sexually adventurous young woman, who embarks upon a passionate love affair with Tobias’s sister, Lady Henrietta. Tobias doesn’t know the extent of their intimacy, but is simply pleased that they are close. The affair cools of its own accord, and by the beginning of
Eden Falls
a new distance characterises their relationship. Lady Henrietta, meanwhile, has found another outlet for her energies; she has joined the campaign for women’s suffrage, and her name is frequently in the newspapers as a spokeswoman for the Women’s Social and Political Union.

Clarissa Hoyland, unwilling to embrace the role of dowager countess, accepts a marriage proposal from Archie Partington and becomes Duchess of Plymouth. With her youngest daughter Isabella, she leaves Netherwood, to live at Denbigh Court, the Partington family seat.

Amos Sykes, encouraged by Anna, runs for Parliament, and by the end of
has been elected Labour MP for Ardington. He and Anna have fallen in love, and married. But their relationship is challenging. She, having discovered a talent for interior design, has painted a mural for Thea, the new Countess of Netherwood, and this leads to a great many enquiries from other aristocrats keen to commission Anna. Amos hates this idea; it compromises his principles, to work so closely with the people he regards as the enemy. Anna, however, loves her work, which is also an essential financial support for her husband’s – unpaid – political career.

ends in 1906.
Eden Falls
opens in 1909.


hanks are due, as ever, to my wonderful parents Anne and Bob Sanderson, whose love and support is something I tend to take entirely for granted because it has always been there and continues to flow south-west from Yorkshire with steady dependability.

Thank you, too, to everyone at Sphere for transforming my words into books and particular thanks to Zoe Gullen, whose copy-editing leaves no comma unturned, no anachronism unquestioned. Like a good gardener she weeds my manuscripts and pulls out the words I don’t need. My books are always the better for her diligence.

Thank you to my agent, Andrew Gordon, for his wise counsel and stoical support at times of need. And to my friend Mary Rose Gavin, thank you for giving me the word ‘Pa’ just when I needed it – on such small details is authenticity built.

Thank you to my daughter, Elly, for enjoying my books; I can’t quite articulate how much that means to me. (To my boys, Joe and Jake, I hope you enjoy them when you do read them; there will be a short test on themes, plot lines and principal characters on our next holiday.) And to all three of you, thank you for the phenomenal frequent rushes of maternal pride that you give me without even realising it.

Finally, and crucially, thank you to Brian Viner for being a gold standard husband: loving, loyal, funny and calmly optimistic. I won’t say I couldn’t do it without you, but I’m profoundly happy that I don’t have to.

Principal Characters


Silas Whittam
Millionaire shipping magnate and owner of the Whittam Hotel
Hugh Oliver
Second-in-command at Whittam & Co.
Seth Williams
Assistant manager at the Whittam Hotel, nephew of Silas Whittam
Ruby Donaldson
Cook at the Whittam Hotel
Roscoe Donaldson
Ruby’s son
Porter at the Whittam Hotel
Porter at the Whittam Hotel
Kitchen hand and waitress at the Whittam Hotel
Gardener at the Whittam Hotel
Housekeeper at Sugar Hill, the home of Silas Whittam
Gardener and handyman at Sugar Hill


Daniel MacLeod
Head gardener at Netherwood Hall
Eve MacLeod
Businesswoman and wife of Daniel, sister of Silas Whittam
Angus MacLeod
Son of Eve and Daniel
Eliza Williams
Older daughter of Eve by her late first husband Arthur
Ellen Williams
Eve’s younger daughter
Mademoiselle Evangeline
Eliza’s ballet teacher
Lilly Pickering
Housekeeper and child minder at Ravenscliffe, Eve and Daniel’s home on Netherwood Common

Bedford Square, London and Ardington, Yorkshire

Anna Sykes
Painter of interior murals, Russian émigrée
Amos Sykes
Labour MP for Ardington, Anna’s huband
Maya Rabinovich-Sykes
Anna’s daughter by her late first husband Leo
Norah Kelly
Housekeeper at Bedford Square
Miss Cargill
Maya’s governess
Enoch Wadsworth
Labour Party activist, union organiser, Amos’s friend and agent

Netherwood Hall, Yorkshire and Fulton House, London

Tobias Hoyland
The Seventh Earl of Netherwood
Thea Hoyland
The Countess of Netherwood
Eugene Stiller
American portrait artist
Lady Henrietta Hoyland
Older sister of Tobias
Butler at Netherwood Hall
Mrs Powell-Hughes
Housekeeper at Netherwood Hall
Sarah Pickersgill
Cook at Netherwood Hall
Ulrich von Hechingen
A young German man
Liese von Hechingen
Ulrich’s aunt
Butler at Fulton House
The Hon Dickie Hoyland
Younger brother of Tobias, living in Italy

Denbigh Court, Devon and Park Lane House, London

Archie Partington
The Duke of Plymouth
Clarissa Partington
The Duchess of Plymouth, formerly Dowager Countess of Netherwood
Lady Isabella Hoyland
Clarissa’s younger daughter, sister of the Earl of Netherwood, debutante
Peregrine Partington
Marquess of Hampden, son and heir of the Duke of Plymouth
Amandine Partington
Wife of Peregrine
Butler at Park Lane House


Herbert Asquith
Prime Minister
David Lloyd George
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Emmeline, Christabel and Sylvia Pankhurst
Mary Dixon
Marcia de Lisle
Client of Anna Sykes
Mr Arbuthnot
Magistrate at Bow Street Court
William Thorpe and Jennifer Hathersage
Students at the Slade School of Fine Art, employees of Anna Sykes
Chapter 1

he charabanc laboured up the last stretch of the hill and then, where the road flattened out and swung left, took the corner with an air of quiet triumph, like a runner finding his stride. There was a break in the trees here which revealed, fleetingly, a glittering strip of sea; on cue, the English passengers exclaimed at the vivid turquoise, which was indeed an extraordinary sight, unless the slate-grey monotony of the Bristol Channel was unknown to you and Caribbean colours were commonplace. Certainly the driver, a local man, didn’t even glance at the view; he only stared ahead, and his face remained shuttered.

BOOK: Eden Falls
2.7Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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