Faber acquired a debut novel set in medieval England from Australian author Robyn Cadwallader.
Hannah Griffiths, associate publisher fiction at Faber, made a pre-emptive bid for The Anchoress, partnering with Sarah Crichton from FSG, and signed world rights excluding Australia and New Zealand from Rachel Calde at The Sayle Literary Agency on behalf of Gaby Naher at The Naher Agency.

The novel is set in 13th-century England, and follows Sarah, who chooses to become a religious hermit, spending her life in a cell, after witnessing her sister's death in childbirth.

Griffiths said: "This is such an unusual novel. Robyn takes a near-impossible set-up of a young woman's first year enclosed in a cell which measures seven steps by nine and has only a narrow window as access to the world and manages to create a totally gripping story."

Cadwallader has previously published short stories and reviews, as well as a book of poetry and a non-fiction title. Now in 2015 the book has been published with outstanding reviews. Robyn Cadwallader has also been chosen as a rising star of 2015 on Amazon.
Doodled Books has an exclusive scoop of first edition first printings. These books have been signed, lined, dated and illustrated by the author. And as the author lives in Australia signed books are incredibly rare.
About the book
England, 1255: Sarah is only seventeen when she chooses to become an anchoress, a holy woman shut away in a small cell, measuring seven paces by nine, at the side of the village church. Fleeing the grief of losing a much-loved sister in childbirth and the pressure to marry, she decides to renounce the world, with all its dangers, desires and temptations, and to commit herself to a life of prayer and service to God. But as she slowly begins to understand, even the thick, unforgiving walls of her cell cannot keep the outside world away, and it is soon clear that Sarah's body and soul are still in great danger...
Robyn Cadwallader's powerful debut novel tells an absorbing story of faith, desire, shame, fear and the very human need for connection and touch. With a poetic intelligence, Cadwallader explores the relationship between the mind, body and spirit in Medieval England in a story that will hold the reader in a spell until the very last page.
So beautiful, so rich, so strange, unexpected and thoughtful ... I loved this book. (Elizabeth Gilbert)

Cadwallader conjures ... a vivid, poetic picture of [a] world that was so dangerous for females. (Kate Saunders The Times)

This is an ambitious debut ... the prose is contemporary and clean without a shadow of medievalism ... The small scale of Sarah's world allowsan exact literary appreciation of detail, often through sound and smell because Sarah can hardly see out: the sounds of a thatched roof, the smell of rain ... The classic early-modern poetic comparisons between the room, the womb and tomb are lightly carried and masterfully used at what is probably the gentle climax of the story. (Sarah Moss Guardian)

Cadwallader's debut novel is an elegant and eloquent piece of ventriloquism, her feminist speaking to us from the claustrophobia of her cold dungeon about issues that matter to us still. (Mail on Sunday)

A perceptive and arresting debut, which illuminates the medieval attitude towards women, and marks Australian Cadwallader as a writer to watch. (Editor's Choice The Bookseller)
Book Description
An unforgettable debut set in thirteenth-century England, The Anchoress resonates profoundly with the issues facing women today.
About the Author
Robyn Cadwallader has published numerous, prize-winning short stories, poems and reviews, as well as a book of poetry and a non-fiction book based on her PhD thesis which explored attitudes to virginity and female agency in the Middle Ages. She lives among vineyards outside the Australian capital when not travelling to England for research, visiting ancient archaeological sites along the way.
Product details
  • First Edition First Printing
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (5 Feb. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571313329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571313327
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.7 x 22.2 cm


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