> Skip to content
  • Published: 2 November 2021
  • ISBN: 9780241476871
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $43.99


'A Startling Heroine' Sarah Moss

Wife. Mother. Politician. Traitor. Fighter. Survivor.

The word is a spark. They can start a fire with it, or smother it in their fingertips.
She chooses to start a fire.

You are born high, but marry a traitor's son. You bear him twelve children, carry his cause and bury his past.

You play the game, against enemies who wish you ashes. Slowly, you rise.

You are Cecily.

But when the king who governs you proves unfit, what then?

Loyalty or treason - death may follow both. The board is set. Time to make your first move.

Told through the eyes of its greatest unknown protagonist, this astonishing debut plunges you into the closed bedchambers and bloody battlefields of the first days of the Wars of the Roses.

  • Published: 2 November 2021
  • ISBN: 9780241476871
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $43.99

Praise for Cecily

A startling heroine

Sarah Moss

Cecily stalks the corridors of power like a female Thomas Cromwell. A vividly female perspective on the Wars of the Roses - what a feat

Imogen Hermes Gowar, author of THE MERMAID AND MRS HANCOCK

An extraordinary achievement . . .I could touch and breathe Cecily's world as if I was walking in her shadow

Carol McGrath

CECILY is the WOLF HALL for the 2020s... marks the start of a stellar career

Manda Scott

I loved it . . . Annie Garthwaite writes about the past with a kind of restrained, earthy vim, and with the sort of intimacy and immediacy - and empathy - that can only come from graft and craft

Toby Clements

A stunning debut. Cecily is an unforgettable heroine... a novel about the power and resourcefulness of women

Susan Elliott-Wright

An intimate, vivid, and compulsively page turning retelling of the Wars of the Roses. At the centre of it all is Cecily herself - ferocious to her enemies, loving to her family, both cannily pragmatic and willing to take the greatest of risks for the greatest of prizes

Tim Leach

Like Mantel's work, Garthwaite's memorable book leaps beyond its genre of historical fiction. Garthwaite writes with empathy and a brilliant eye for historical detail. This book is a winner--don't miss it!

Pamela Petro

Vivid and compelling

J L Laynesmith

A bold, beautiful novel

Eleanor Dymott

Masterful and majestic, here is England's unspoken history told by one brilliant woman through the life of another. This important novel blazes on every page from its brutal first scene to its glittering final act. Immense

Chris Cleave

Entirely absorbing and utterly compelling. C15th England leaps from the page, with all its political turmoil & bloodshed. I loved it

Caroline Lea

This book is really special. It covers a part of history where women are often footnotes but in this book Cecily is ALIVE, alive & flawed

Kate Sawyer

In vigorous, direct prose Garthwaite grippingly resurrects a remarkable woman

Sunday Times

Related titles