History & True Crime

The Angels of Englemere Wood by Karen Farrington published in paperback today


‘A heart-warming story of hope and kindness’Daily Express

Congratulations to Karen Farrington on the paperback publication of The Angels of Englemere Wood, out today from Penguin Michael Joseph.

In the gruelling years between the two world wars, Queenie Clapton’s family struggled to stay afloat. With a father traumatised by the first gruesome conflict, only finding respite in local pubs, and a mother working night and day trying to keep food on the table, Queenie and her sister were swept up by the Waifs and Strays Society – a network of homes caring for thousands of children across the UK. As war broke out, waifs and strays like Queenie had no idea what the future would hold.

Recently widowed, Lady Peyton knew her sons, both handsome and upstanding, would be heading to the front lines. Finding herself alone for the first time in her life, the Lady in Waiting decided to open the doors of her now unnervingly quiet stately home to the London children’s home looking for shelter from the Blitz.

Under the guidance of the formidable nurse Matron Bailey, young girls from the Waifs and Strays Society moved in with their high society hostess. Instead of a rattle of bombs, they heard birdsong. After enduring raw poverty, the girls now attended knitting circles with royalty. They were given a new lease on life, building a family under the toughest of circumstances and a sense of purpose and community that lasted generations.

The Angels of Englemere Wood is the inspiring true story of that remarkable bond forged in times of trouble, and the women at the heart of it all.

‘An engaging war-time tale about the fortitude of children and the transformative impact of one woman’s care for them. These evocative first-person memories conjure a vivid picture of 1940s Britain, leaving a lasting impression’Lucy Fischer

‘A heart-warming story of hope and kindness’ ― Daily Express

‘Full of fascinating detail, affectionately told, The Angels of Englemere Wood is by turns a humbling, touching, astonishing and ultimately uplifting read’ Joanna Toye

‘A winning blend of nostalgic personal narratives with a detailed social history of World War Two. I guarantee you’ll be charmed by every one of the cast of waifs and strays, as well as by the “Angels” who took care of them’Duncan Barrett

‘An exquisite, meticulously researchedaccount of what happened to Britain’s disadvantaged children and all who touched their lives when war came. Gentle, fascinating, nostalgic – I loved being in the company of this beautiful humane book’Tessa Dunlop

‘A well-documented, imaginatively empathetic account of her life’ ― The Times Literary Supplement

The Angels of Englemere is a heart-rending and meticulously researched story of love, loss, companionship and bonding through the eyes of a group of disadvantaged children during WW2. When their families couldn’t cope with them, doors opened that would transform their lives. This is a beautifully written nostalgic read’ Ellee Seymour

Congratulations, Karen.

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