I appreciate that the headline looks rather like I am about to reveal news of a salacious affair between modern day author Bethany Askew, and early nineteenth century poet and philosopher, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and, in a very real sense, perhaps that is quite close to the truth. Because Bethany has spent an enormous amount of time in the company of the great man while researching for her twin novels about his life. Three Extraordinary Years, set largely in Somerset, and The Two Saras, set predominantly in Cumbria.
Deep Down Research
Bethany Askew has spent many hours entertaining visitors at the National Trust Coleridge Cottage (Still closed at time of writing 29th Aug 2020) in Nether Stowey. Here, before lockdown commenced, she could be found helping visitors understand more about the life of Coleridge and those three extraordinary years that he spent in the small drafty cottage with his new wife Sara, and their young family; a period in which he wrote some of his most famous works, including The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. She also read copiously about the poet, as the long bibliography at the back of the book will attest, so you can be sure that while the books are written as fiction, they are deeply rooted in solid facts.
Her books were already well on the way to launch before the COVID situation developed and so we launched the books anyway. Despite not being able to have a proper physical launch when the time came, we did in fact see a very healthy flurry of sales, and now that bookshops are reopening we are seeing a continuation of sales that is respectable and solid.
If you haven’t already got a copy of Three Extraordinary Years, and The Two Saras I would urge you to order them from your local bricks and mortar bookshop (in the UK). Alternatively ask your local library to order a copy for you to borrow.
If you can’t get to a bookshop or library (I feel very sorry for you) or you are not in the UK, then you can buy online from us (a flat rate P&P charge is applied so it’s worth buying a few books at once).