My dearest love,
Where are you now?
Spring, 1847, and Lady Franklin is back in London expecting to greet her husband, Sir John Franklin, upon his triumphant return from the Northwest Passage. As weeks turn to months, she develops an unconventional friendship with Russell Square’s gardener even as she reluctantly grows into her public role as Franklin’s steadfast wife, the “Penelope of England.” In this novel that imagines a rich interior life for one of Victorian England’s most intriguing women, the boundaries of love, friendship, and propriety are sure to collide.
“I loved this book. The letters are funny and smart, and sometimes angry and disappointed, and give the reader a rich perspective on this nineteenth-century woman’s interior life.” — Kerry Clare, Editor, 49th Shelf and blogger, Pickle Me This
“By drawing out of her title character a wry sense of humour and playfulness, and not shying from the mental exhaustion that would certainly accompany constant branding in the press and strategic encounters with the Admiralty, Behrisch Elce has created a layered interior world as real as Russell Square and the streets of England.” — Nick Walker, Canadian Geographic
“An original and provocative exploration of John Franklin’s doomed Arctic odyssey from the perspective of Lady Franklin, who, though she remained at home in England, underwent an equally compelling journey. Lady Franklin of Russell Square is a captivating tale of transformation, beautifully told.” — Helen Humphreys, author of The Lost Garden
“Gripping… the reader is one with this devoted wife.” — Alison Alexander, author of The Ambitions of Jane Franklin: Victorian Lady Adventurer