In the mid seventeenth century, England was divided by war and bloodshed. Torn apart by rival factions, father opposed son and brother met brother on the battlefield. But while civil war raged on cobbled streets and green fields, inside the home domestic life continued as it always had done.
For Ann Fanshawe and her children it meant a life of insecurity and constant jeopardy as she and her husband, a Royalist diplomat, dedicated their lives to the restoration of the Stuart monarchy. In this uncertain world, Ann's 'receipt book' was a treasured and entirely feminine response to the upheavals of war. These books were a feature of women's lives during this period, when there were few doctors to be found, and were full of life-saving medical knowledge that had been gleaned from mothers and friends.
Remarkably, Ann's morocco-bound book full of scraps of ink-stained paper has survived to this day. Using Ann's receipt book and the memoirs she wrote for her surviving son, Lucy Moore follows her through this turbulent time as she leaves home, marries, bears - and buries - children and seeks to hold her family together.
Lady Fanshawe's Receipt Book brilliantly brings to life Ann's struggles and her joys, revealing how ordinary women across the country fought to protect their loved ones in the face of conflict.
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