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The Master of Liversedge

'Gives a very authentic taste of the problems of this period which the author has based on historic research. If you are looking for something a bit different, or from a different perspective, this story is for you. A very clean romance.' - Alice,

The novel was first published by Robert Hale in 1966 and was dedicated to her mother.
It was also published by Corgi as a paperback.

This novel was later published under the title of The Master and the Maiden by Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, as a paperback in the US and Canada.

William Arkwright, the master of Liversedge Mill, is a proud yet lonely man. The mill seems to be his only interest in life and his young step-sister Caroline is the only person able to bring a smile to his face. But Liversedge Mill is in trouble as the Luddites – bands of desperate men put out of work by the new machines and reduced to starvation - conspire to smash machines and terrorise their masters throughout the north of England.

Mary Lister, Caroline’s new governess, arrives on a night of violence and death. Having been forced by the snowy track to travel the last part of her journey in a farm waggon, crouched under a tarpaulin, Mary is confronted by uproar. The Luddites have somehow discovered that the train of waggons is carrying shearing frames — and they are out to smash the lot. In the mayhem, a man dies...

Shaken and confused Mary finally reaches the Mill. Confronted by her single-minded employer, Mary is determined not to let William Arkwright’s over-bearing nature ruin her spirits. During the stormy weeks that follow her arrival, Mary is torn between her sympathy for the poor and downtrodden of the rebellion, with whom her gentle cousin John Booth has sided, and her unwilling admiration for the indomitable Master of Liversedge.

With whom will she eventually side? Her head or her heart?


Comments from users on

“Very different romance without the usual noble lords. The hero is a former military man who is now in charge of the family's weaving mill. He has hired a governess for his younger sister and she arrives in the middle of the Luddite uprisings.

“The characters were interesting and unique, especially in the usual realm of regency stories. This story is very reminiscent of Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South, and like that story I enjoyed it immensely.”