Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
beach reading
starry skies to read under
reading in nature

The Midwife set in Northumberland – Tricia Cresswell

  • Submitted: 1st March 2023

The Midwife set in Northumberland

Tricia Cresswell, author of The Midwife joins us from sunny Northumberland to showcase her latest novel….

Let’s step back in time to Victorian England….

The Midwife set in Northumberland - Tricia Cresswell

BookTrail the locations in The Midwife

The Midwife is set in early Victorian England. It begins as a dual narrative: two
characters who are both living shadowed lives survive through their work and their
commitment to it. One is a well-respected male doctor in London with secrets to
hide, while the other is a woman in Northumberland who has lost her past but finds
her skills as a nurse and midwife.

The Midwife set in Northumberland - Tricia Cresswell

The narratives inexorably, but perhaps unexpectedly, come together in the final section of the book.

BookTrail the locations in The Midwife

I moved to Alnwick in north Northumberland seven years ago. This is the land of the
castles of Warkworth, Alnwick, Dunstanburgh, Bamburgh and Lindisfarne; of the
Border Reivers and the Percys; of the wild east coast and the Cheviot Hills to the
west.

The area that was Devil’s Acre

BookTrail the locations in The Midwife

I wanted to create settings which were rooted in the physical reality of the time, not
only the death and disease but also the smells and the sounds, and the contrast
between the rich and the poor.

Tricia Cresswell

Tricia Cresswell

In London, in 1840, Dr Borthwick is an accoucheur for wealthy women in the smart new streets and squares of Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia but he also cares for ‘fallen women’ at a refuge in the terrible slum area called The Devil’s Acre. Situated south of today’s Victoria Street, the slum started being cleared in the 1850s and the area has been redeveloped several times since.

Edlingham (c) Tricia Cresswell

Edlingham (c) Tricia Cresswell

BookTrail the locations in The Midwife

In Northumberland, the midwife’s story starts on Alnwick Moor, which is now mainly
tamed with mixed farming and grouse moor. Edlingham village is where she begins
to understand her skills as a nurse and midwife and finds friendship.

Edlingham (c) Tricia Cresswell

Edlingham (c) Tricia Cresswell

BookTrail the locations in The Midwife

One of my favourite scenes in the novel happens in Alnwick Market Square. The
square remains cobbled but has a lot of late Victorian additions, including the
imposing Northumberland Hall on the left.

BookTrail the locations in The Midwife

It was hearing the clicking of a woman’s boot heels on the cobbles of Fenkle Street, behind the Market Square, which gave me an image of the midwife and the setting for her part of the story.

There are a few more locations of course but to reveal them, especially one towards the end of the novel, would maybe spoil your reading of it, so just enjoy a taster and be sure there are more fascinating settings to be discovered.

 

BookTrail Boarding Pass: The Midwife

The author is not on social media

Back to Authorsonlocation

Featured Book

The Story Collector

1910, 2024: In a quiet village in Ireland, a mysterious local myth is about to change everything…

Read more