We’re so excited that Two Silver Crosses, our latest title by historical fiction queen Beryl Kingston, is finally available to the world!
One of the most frequent reviews we get for Beryl is about how well-researched her titles are. She has an incredible knack for pulling readers into her world and making them feel every moment and place. So what’s her secret to nailing down the details of all her stories? Well, to start, she almost always pulls inspiration from a real life event or person, and Two Silver Crosses is no exception to this rule.
According to Beryl, this story was handed to her on a plate — or, more specifically, a butler’s plate.
Back in the 80’s, Beryl and her husband were visiting Uppark House, an 18th-century building that has kept alive the contrast between the grandeur of Georgian family rooms and the servants’ quarters in the basement. As they wandered the halls, Beryl came across the butler’s pantry, where the scene of a butler readying his master’s breakfast was laid out. Beryl, with her incredible eye for detail, immediately honed in on the newspaper the butler was ironing and noticed that it was a real copy of The Times. As she admired it, an advertisement caught her eye:
“Would twin sisters last seen at Victoria station boarding the boat train to Paris and each wearing about her neck a silver cross, please contact the above named Solicitors where they will hear something to their advantage.”
‘Blimey, the story there,’ Beryl thought. Her mind began spinning immediately: Why don’t they know where the girls are? Why are they heiresses? What’s the significance of the two silver crosses? Then what? Beryl says that if she gets an inspiration of any kind, it always leads to questions.
Before she’d even left Uppark House, she was writing her new story down.
So, as you’re reading about Ginny and Emily Holborn, you can think of the two very real girls who sat in Victoria station wearing two silver crosses before leaving ‘something of their advantage’ behind. Did they get to journey to Paris? Did they ever come back? Were they given a love story like the one Beryl weaves?
The Uppark House that Beryl visited may have burned down, and we may never know the truth behind the advertisement she took such inspiration from, but you can unravel the mystery of Beryl’s two girls wearing two silver crosses here.