We are very excited to be welcoming Annie Garthwaite to St Albans Cathedral following the release of her debut novel 'CECILY'.  Selected as a 'top-pick' historical novel by The Sunday Times, this breath-taking novel explores the life of Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, who was one of the women at the heart of the War of the Roses, the first battle of which was fought in St Albans.

Join Annie on Wednesday 23rd March, 7.30 - 9pm  as she starts the evening with a reading from her novel before moving on to discuss her reasons for writing the book and what it is that draws her to Cecily. 

With links in the book to Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (who is buried here at St Albans Cathedral) this talk is perfectly suited to take place here at St Albans Cathedral. 

Born in 1415, Cecily was for much of her life one of the most powerful women in England. Mother of two future kings, she helped to create a dynasty and lead her family through civil war. Politically shrewd, strategically gifted and a dynastic schemer, Cecily was an unshakeable matriarch of the House of York. Yet, like so many women, her story has been lost to history. Reflecting upon this lost story, Annie Garthwaite set out to give Cecily a voice. Her debut novel explores Cecily's life, shedding light on not only her political achievements, but also who she was as a person. The novel examines Cecily's experience of marriage and motherhood, an experience which many 21st century audiences will feel a kinship with. Although separated by over 600 years of history, Cecily is a figure who we can still relate to today and her story, once so often forgotten, deserves to be told.

This event is taking place in the Alban Room at St Albans Cathedral and online via Zoom. If you’d like to attend the talk but are not free to join us live, please do buy a ticket and you’ll receive a link to the recording.

Find out more about using Zoom for our events

About Annie Garthwaite:

Annie Garthwaite grew up in a working-class community in the north-east of England. She studied English at the University of Wales before embarking on a 30-year career in international business. In 2017 she returned to her first love, books, and set out to write the story of a woman she had always felt drawn to: Cecily Neville. Her debut novel CECILY was selected as a ‘top pick’ historical novel by both The Times and The Sunday Times.

Clergy and Reader Training Grants:

Starting in January 2022, we are very pleased to be able to offer clergy and Readers in the diocese of St Albans complimentary access to our Adult Learning courses, talks, study days, and reading groups.

To sign up for this event, please email [email protected] with your name and role and we will confirm your place.