Novelist’s taste of living history
PUBLISHED: 17:41 10 January 2008 | UPDATED: 14:21 04 May 2010
THE family history of a woman from Royston has been featured by an author who visited the town. Virginia Aitken spoke to members of Royston WI at the town hall about her third book Red Scar which follows on from her previous novels, Snowdrops for Ada and
THE family history of a woman from Royston has been featured by an author who visited the town.
Virginia Aitken spoke to members of Royston WI at the town hall about her third book Red Scar which follows on from her previous novels, Snowdrops for Ada and Oh My Child.
And Mrs Aitken introduced 94-year-old Joan Bradfield, who is the daughter of one of the book's characters, Gilbert.
The author's eight-month old granddaughter Jenna, who is the great-great granddaughter of the book's heroine Ada, was also present.
The book, loosely based on fact, charts Ada's grown-up years living with her adopted family, including Gilbert, in an old house called Red Scar.
It is a love story, filled with complications and an Edwardian sense of propriety.
It was Mrs Bradfield's son Robert, also from Royston, who provided much of the family history.
Mr Bradfield said: "I gave background information on the family, most of which was after the time in which the current book is set.
"I had been looking into the history by visiting relatives' graves.
"The book is fascinating for me, because my mother had very few relatives.
"It deals with the time up until the marriage of my parents, and before I was born.
"I think the next book will be even more interesting for me."
Mr Bradfield said his mother was pleased and intrigued about the book and glad that it provided a factual document of her family history.
"Her mother walked out on her and her sister when she was only four years old," he said.
"My mother did not talk of her family much, but always said how kind her father was."
Mrs Aitken said: "Ada is my grandmother and a real person.
"I wanted to find out more about her, but the more research I did the more there was to write, and I realised I would have to write three books rather than one.
"I am very thankful to Mr Bradfield for providing me with so much information for this book.