Petals in the Ashes by Mary Hooper


Petals in the Ashes by Mary Hooper

I could barely explain how much I wanted to go back to London, for I hardly understood myself. I'd hated the stinking city when we'd left, could hardly bear to think on its name, but now the plague had disappeared from the streets the people would be back, the theatres and shops would be open and we would find everything as cheery as it had been before. Hannah returns to her beloved London to re-open the sweetmeats shop with younger sister Anne. Londoners are reeling from the plague epidemic of the previous year, but Hannah and Anne are keen to start enjoying everything the bustling city has to offer. But this is 1666, and it has been prophesised that terrible things will happen, and on Pudding Lane, flames are raging through the bakery...Mary Hooper evokes with complete mastery the sights, sounds and terror of a London gripped by the ferocious and terrible Fire of London, engulfing everything in its path.


'At the Sign of the Sugared Plum'

... In 'Petals in the Ashes


About the Author

Mary Hooper

Says of herself: I was born in Barnes, South West London, which became expensive and trendy as soon as I left it. I often – nostalgically and rather lazily – use Barnes as a setting for my books. If I speak of a river then I’m thinking of the Thames, and if it’s a park or common then I picture Barnes Common. I was able to utilise all these local points and bring in Mortlake and Richmond, too, when I was writing two books about Queen Elizabeth I’s magician, Dr Dee, who lived in Mortlake.

I started working as a window dresser, but soon went into an office and – very valuable, this, for a writer – learned to type. One day I read a short story, thought that I could do better and sat down and wrote one. I sent it to Jackie, a teenage magazine, and much to my surprise sold it for £14. I was launched as a writer! I went on to write lots of short stories, and then serials, and eventually decided to write a book. At the time, there were hardly any books for teenagers, so I found getting published quite easy, but it’s very different now. I’ve written perhaps seventy or so books for children and young adults, most of them set in modern times, but as soon as I began writing historical novels I realised how much I loved doing this, and decided I didn’t want to write any more modern ones. No, not even any Megans!

I’m married to Richard and we live in Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire. I’ve still got a VW Beetle, but have upgraded it to a cabriolet version, which will be lovely when the weather improves and I can put the top down (if I can remember how to do it). My children are very grown up, my son is a writer and works for New Scientist and my daughter works for Microsoft - and has recently presented me with a gorgeous first grandson, Mackenzie. I look after him on Wednesdays so don’t ever bother me then! My hobbies are reading (of course), pottering around the house, painting furniture and being nosy (which goes with being a writer).

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Book Info


192 pages


Mary Hooper
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Publication date

5th July 2004



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