MFT Guest Post and Giveaway with Jane Eagland

Happy Monday, gang! I’d like to kick off Historical Week with a guest post by Jane Eagland! Jane is the author of Wildthorn, and Whisper My Name, and is here to talk about why she writes historical fiction. I’m also giving away a copy of Wildthorn, so be sure to check out the giveaway details at the bottom of the post.

Please welcome Jane to the blog! 

 I fell into writing historical novels almost accidentally – it’s not something I would ever have imagined myself doing as I’m dreadfully ignorant about history. I gave it up in my early teens just because the teacher was boring – something I now regret.
 The chance that set me writing Wildthorn was reading about a woman in the nineteenth century called Hersilie Rouy who was incarcerated in French asylums for fifteen years even though she was sane. The more she struggled to be released the more the authorities took her protests as symptoms of insanity. Her plight affected me deeply, provoking a sense of protest at the injustice of what had been done to her. I thought, what must that have been like? And I began to write the story that became Wildthorn.

 Though the story could have been set in any period – certainly in the twentieth century people were committed to institutions who didn’t need to be there – I decided to set it in the Victorian period. This was partly because of Hersilie but also because I became very interested in the position of women at that time. They were expected to conform to a narrowly defined role, but some women were beginning to fight against these restrictions. Also, setting the story in the past appealed to my imagination and gave me more freedom to invent things.
 But I wanted the story to ring true so I realized I needed to do a lot of research – not just into Victorian asylums, but clothes, houses, transport ….everything. And I discovered that I loved it! The information itself was fascinating and it also provided a wonderful excuse – I was getting on with the novel without actually having to struggle to commit words to paper, which for me is always the hardest part. Sometimes by chance I came across things that I then wanted to include in the novel and that was always exciting. In this way I stumbled across the subject of Victorian spiritualism which afterwards led me to write my second novel Whisper My Name.
 I got totally carried away – for example I knew so much about Victorian wallpaper! Every time a character went into a different room, I described the wallpaper in loving detail. Of course, in subsequent drafts all that had to go – it was irrelevant but more importantly it was slowing the pace. So that’s something I learned about writing historical novels – the research has to serve the story and not be there for its own sake. But it’s still hard to resist the temptation to find out more and more. So I think it’s true to say that writing the novels has given me a love of history which will always be with me now.
 When I think about it, it’s not so surprising that I have been led in this direction. As a child I loved What Katy Did, Little Women (I was Jo, of course) The Secret Garden, Tom Sawyer… I say ‘as a child’ but these are the books I still turn to when I want a comforting read.
 And later I came to love the great nineteenth century English classics: Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Bleak House, The Woman in White – long, involved stories, romantic, mysterious – stories that you can immerse yourself in. And I am a great fan of Sarah Waters’ novels set in the Victorian period: Affinity and the wonderful Fingersmith.
 To enter the past through reading or writing historical novels is to enter another world – always one of the pleasures of literature. But it is also delightful to discover that we can identify with the characters and share their experiences, for after all they are very like us. 

Visit Jane at her website!

*Giveaway is for one copy of Wildthorn to one winner

About the book

They strip her naked, of everything. Undo her whalebone corset, hook by hook. Locked away in Wildthorn Hall—a madhouse—they take her identity. She is now called Lucy Childs. She has no one; she has nothing. But, she is still seventeen—still Louisa Cosgrove, isn’t she? Who has done this unthinkable deed? Louisa must free herself, in more ways than one, and muster up the courage to be her true self, all the while solving her own twisted mystery and falling into an unconventional love . . .


  1. dorkavecunespork

    Ooh, intriguing! It reminds me of a short play I saw not long ago by a Frenchman known for his gruesome and horrific plays. I'll never look at asylums or knitting needles the same way again…

  2. Sounds fascinating… I can think of nothing more terrible than being sane and locked away in an asylum. I love both covers. Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Wildthorn is on my wish list! Thank you for offering up a copy!


  4. This sounds really interesting! Thanks for the givaway.

  5. Mad house in the Victorian period … sounds intriguing! Love the cover!!

    danaan at gmx dot at

  6. This sounds like a fascinating as does the factual story the author mentions.

    I would like to read the book so please enter me in the giveaway.

    Thanks for opening it to worldwide entries.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  7. Wow. I cannot imagine going through that. I'd like to know more about the factual story mentioned, and I'd love to read this book.


  8. This book sounds great! I need to get my hands on a copy!

    Great giveaway! Thanks 🙂

    chidoryx AT hotmail DOT com

  9. This sounds like such an interesting book. I can't imagine what it would be like, being sane but locked up in an asylum. I also love these covers! Thank for the giveaway! 🙂


  10. I loved Wildthorn SO much! It was one of my favorite books last year. I'm so glad I got this chance to learn a bit more about it!

  11. This sounds like such a good book! Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres and this one sounds like it's very interesting. I cannot think of a worse fate than being locked in an asylum when there is nothing the matter with you…

    Thanks for the giveaway!


  12. I've heard great things about Wildthorn. Thanks for the giveaway.


  13. Thank you for the interesting post! I love to read historical novels and Wildthorn sounds so enticing.

    Thank you for this chance! 😀

    Giada M.

    fabgiada (at) gmail (dot) com

  14. This is one of my favorite time periods! I really can't wait to read this one.
    GFC follower

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  15. Great post! I enjoyed learning about Jane. I am going to visit Jane's website to learn more about her and her books. I love reading historical novels. This book sounds really good.


  16. Linda: By the Book

    Nothing better than reading a historical written in the Victorian period. I love hearing what inspired an author to write their book and this was an especially emotional one.
    Both covers are lovely.

    Lindadao2060 at yahoo dot com

  17. OMG…this looks soooo good! Thanks so much for the giveaway! I really want this super bad!!! 😀


    My Email:

  18. This is my first time hearing about this book. It definitely looks like a page turner, I'd love to give it a read. Thank you for the chance 🙂


  19. Sierra Cullen.♥

    -This book sounds good. First time reading about it and it looks interesting. :] Thanks for the chance!


  20. kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews

    Don't enter me in a giveaway! Just wanted to say that I've read Wildthorn and loved it. It was creepy and beautiful and very vivid, the cover is gorgeous as well. Plus, I loved The Secret Garden too – it's a must read book. I'm spreading the word about the giveaway 🙂

  21. Agreat era for a book, thanks for a chance for this giveaway!


  22. Ooh, a Victorian mystery…very intriguing. Thank you so much for sharing!


  23. I've been wanting to read this one for awhile, I love historical fiction and the fact that it is a mystery makes it even more intriguing!

    Thanks for the giveaway (:

  24. I've been quite curious for some time to read either book (Wildthorn or Whisper My Name), so thanks for the giveaway!

    catarina_romeira hotmail dot com

  25. thank you, Jane, for the giveaway…..i LOVE historical fictions!!!!


  26. I am new to historical fiction but enjoying it so much. I am doing anything I can to get my hands on books of this genre. I am really excited for a chance to win this. Thanks Jane!
    gfc follower
    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  27. Wow that sounds like a harsh era. The books looks really great! I will have to ask my local bookstore why have i never seen them. Thank you so much for coming on and giving is this background. That was really interesting.

    terilhack at gmail dot com

  28. I love the covers! They are so great! And thank you for the contest!

    hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu

  29. Thanks for the giveaway! The book sounds great!

  30. Love the covers. Sounds like a good read!


  31. Love the blurb and the cover – very intriguing.

    Thanks for the giveaway!


  32. Wildthorn sounds very intriguing and I'm really looking forward to reading it.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  33. Oh, this sounds like a great story!

    robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com

  34. Offbeat Vagabond

    Great post. What a captivating idea. I have always heard of people being held up in institutions back then when there was nothing wrong with them and they didn't do anything wrong. It will be nice to read it from a woman's point of view in Victorian England. The research you done sounds like it was well worth it. It is nice when yu get to know the period so much, you feel like you were there. Great post and giveaway, thank you 🙂

    drharleyquinn87 (at) gmail (dot) com

  35. I got goose bimbles reading about this one – I would love to read it and will be adding it to my wishlist. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway opportunity.


  36. This sounds very intriguing! Madness and love very interesting!


  37. You are officially on my list of authors. I love history now, but like you I had a teacher who made it dry & boring. I have heard stories of women being put into asylums for no other reason than that the family wanted their fortunes.


  38. destinulgardianului

    Thanks for the giveaway! :X

  39. Thanks so much for the opportunity to win this book!!!


  40. This book has been on in wish list for so long! I'd love to have the chance to read it. Thanks for the giveaway!

    bookwormoakes AT yahoo DOT com

  41. Tipsy -

    Oooo I love that time period.. how did I not hear about this book already?! Eek!

    info (at) tipsyreader (dot) com

  42. Thank you for the interesting post!

  43. SusieBookworm (Susanna)

    Thanks for the great guest post and giveaway! I'm really happy to see that this book is well-researched and inspired by a real occurrence; this makes historical fiction so much more interesting!

    susanna DOT pyatt AT student DOT rcsnc DOT org

  44. Thank you so much for the guest post! I loved Wildthorn-especially the ending. The main character remains one of my favorites. edysicecreamlover18ATgmailDOTcom

  45. This sounds really good and possibly sad i can't wait to read it!
    Thanks ~Marjie

  46. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me in contest.

  47. Thanks for the giveaway! This book looks amazing!!

    Miss Lauren

  48. Wow, Wildthorn sounds awesome, and I can see how you'd be inspired to write it by something like that. Thanks for the giveaway!


  49. this book sounds awesome – would love to win! tillien at gmail dot com

  50. Yay! This book is on my TBR list! I love Victorian romances 🙂

    jwitt33 at live dot com


  51. It looks like a fascinating story.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  52. Uhhh! i'm scared of this book now! hahaha But I want to read it anyway!


  53. This sounds so good, I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on this. Thanks for the giveaway ^_^


  54. the cover is absolutely LOVELY! makes me want to read the book even more!

    aliasgirl at libero dot it

  55. BooksforCompany

    This sounds really good and the blurb draws you in really quickly.
    Thanks for this
    booksforcompany @

  56. This one looks SO incredibly interesting! I've been wanting to read it for a while now! Would LOVE to win!!

    basicallyamazingbooks [at]

  57. I think this is a book which deserves to be read. I think Jane Eagland is so nice! I would love to have a copy.

    balmezandrada at yahoo dot com

  58. Ooh, I'm hooked by the description, thanks for this giveaway 🙂

    kate1485 at

  59. hedgerhousehold

    Thanks for the giveaway
    jenhedger at hotmail dot com

  60. Thanks for this! 😀

    ninmonster at rocketmail dot com

  61. I havent read little women yet but i have read march. I think it might be time to check it out
    Thanks for the giveaway!


  62. Sounds really good!:)


  63. I love historical romances! This looks really good!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  64. Thank you for the giveaway! 🙂

    GFC-Christine Davis

    ceeenndee at gmail dot com

  65. This sounds like a really interesting plot. I really enjoyed (and still do) the classics as well.

    pams00 @

  66. The Library Page

    Loving the cover and the story sounds great too!

    Thanks for this opportunity!


    thewannabeknight at gmail dot com

  67. Michelle @ The True Book Addict

    I have been wanting to read this one for the longest! Thanks so much for the chance.


  68. Logan E. Turner

    This one has been on my TBR for too long! 🙂


  69. Louisa's story seems so fascinating. Thanks for the giveaway.

  70. This sounds interesting. Would love to read it!


  71. Sounds like such a great book. I wonder how often sane people get "locked up" nowadays? Thanks for the awesome giveaway.

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