I’m so delighted to start sharing the cover for my new book, The Road to Newgate, which is being published by Crooked Cat books on July 16th!
The cover is particularly relevant to the book as the background image is part of Ogilby and Morgan’s Large Scale Map of the City as rebuilt by 1676.
The map is a) beautiful and b) available to inspect online in great detail at British History Online. I love it so much I bought a print of it and hung it on our dining room wall.
What was so useful about it as a writing resource is that I was able to zoom in on all the book locations and relate the places I was writing about to modern-day London, getting a real feel for the geography my characters inhabited. Now I can tell you how long it took Nat to get to work above Henry’s print shop in Little Britain from his and Anne’s small home in Love Lane, near Billings Gate. I also traced the route of the Pope-burning procession that so distresses Anne on this map – more of that later – and worked out just how long it would take her to walk to Tyburn to watch an execution.
But for now, here is Anne in Chapter Two, walking past “The Pillar where the fire began” that you can see in the section of the map below, before turning right along Thames Street:
On Fish Street Hill, more people than usual are gathered around the new monument to the Great Fire. They are pointing. An addition has been made to the Latin inscription on its northern side. I’ve read the stone panel many times. It describes the fire that ravaged this part of the city, day and night, in 1666. On the third day, it reads, the fatal fire died out. But a new line has been added, indicating the rising tide of concern felt all across London.
One man translates, calling others to hear how it says now that, “But Popish frenzy, which wrought such horrors, is not yet quenched.” Around him, people grumble their agreement. On the east side there is another addition, this one in Latin and English. I join the people peering at it and read, “The City of London was burnt and consumed with fire by the treachery and malice of the papists in September in the year of Our Lord 1666.”
“Those Catholic bastards,” one woman shouts. “They’re the ones that should burn!”
I hurry home.