Katharine McMahon

The Rose of Sebastopol

'The Rose of Sebastopol' follows the adventures of Rosa Barr, who is inspired to follow Nightingale to the Crimea, and subsequently disappears. In three short extracts, Katharine McMahon introduces the reader to Rosa’s timid cousin, Mariella, as she sets off to the battlefields in reluctant pursuit.



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About Katharine McMahon

Katharine McMahon has published ten novels, including the international bestseller ‘The Rose of Sebastopol’. Her novel, ‘The Alchemist’s Daughter’, also achieved Waterstones’ Paperback of the Year status.

Katharine specialises in fiction set in the past, in which powerful women are drawn from the shadows. Her work also includes ‘The Crimson Rooms’ and ‘The Woman in the Picture’; novels which tell the story of the fictional pioneering female lawyer, Evelyn Gifford. ‘The Alchemists Daughter’ was inspired by the life of Voltaire’s mistress Emilie du Châtelet. Her latest novel, ‘The Hour of Separation’ is set in Watford and illustrates the story of resistance and intense family relationships across the two world wars.

Katharine taught The Guardian’s masterclasses on historical fiction. She addressed the pleasures and pitfalls of writing about a different era from how to build a plot to weaving real events and people into fictional plots. She has also published an eBook on writing historical fiction.

Katharine has taught for the Arvon Foundation; a charity which runs an annual programme of creative writing courses and retreats for schools, groups and individuals. She currently works part time for the Royal Literary Fund as Education Projects Manager.

Her career has not focused solely on literature; Katharine served for a number of years as a magistrate, and was appointed to the Sentencing Council for England and Wales. She was also a Judicial Appointments Commissioner.

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