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Barbara Erskine is a British author of literary fiction and historical fiction novels.

Born in Nottingham, England, she holds a degree in medieval Scottish history from Edinburgh University where she first began writing a novel—a story that would later become Kingdom of Shadows (1988).

While working for an educational publisher and as a freelance researcher for art and history books, Barbara started selling short stories, hoping that one day she would become a full-time writer.

That dream was eventually fulfilled in 1986 when Lady of Hay was published—approximately a decade after she had scribbled the plot.

More about Barbara Erskine

Genres: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

Born: 1944

United Kingdom

Website: http://www.barbara-erskine.co.uk/novels/

Non Series

  • Lady of Hay (1986)
  • Kingdom of Shadows (1988)
  • Child of the Phoenix (1992)
  • Midnight Is a Lonely Place (1994)
  • House of Echoes (1996)
  • On the Edge of Darkness (1998)
  • Whispers in the Sand (2000)
  • Hiding from the Light (2002)
  • Daughters of Fire (2006)
  • The Warrior's Princess (2008)
  • Time’s Legacy (2010)
  • River of Destiny (2012)
  • The Darkest Hour (2014)
  • Sleeper’s Castle (2016)
  • The Ghost Tree (2018)

Short Story Collection

  1. Encounters (1990)
  2. Distant Voices (1997)
  3. Sands Of Time (2003)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

Lady of Hay

Accomplished journalist Jo Clifford is determined to expose the deceptive nature of past-life regression in her next magazine series.

However, when she takes part in a painless hypnotic act, Jo surprisingly finds herself going through what Matilda—Lady of Hay and the wife of a baron during the reign of King John—went through.

As she begins learning about Matilda's miserable marriage, her attraction towards the gorgeous Richard de Clare and the vicious death threats at the hands of King John, Jo soon discovers that her past is interwoven with her present.

Eight centuries later, a tale of hidden passion and horrifying betrayal is about to unravel.

Author: Barbara Erskine
First Release: 1986
ISBN: 978-1402241185
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Kingdom of Shadows

Although Clare Royland’s life seems perfect, she is forced to endure a miserable marriage.

She is also troubled by her increasing enthrallment with her ancestress from a long forgotten past.

Continually haunted by strange dreams, Clare is compelled to look back into the past in search of answers.

The year is 1306.

War has erupted in Scotland.

As the fighting draws closer, Isobel, Countess of Buchan, begins having fears about being subjected to a premature death.

She is ultimately persecuted for her contribution in crowning her lover, Robert the Bruce.

Centuries later, as her husband’s carelessness endangers their well-being, Clare must fight to protect Duncairn, her home, and unshackle herself from Isobel.

Author: Barbara Erskine
First Release: 1988
ISBN: 978-0747401308
Publisher: Dell
Child of the Phoenix

The year is 1218.

A princess unlike no other is born; one whose magical gifts and insatiable spirit will forever change history.

Brought up by her passionate Welsh nurse to support the Celtic defiance against the ravening King of England, Princess Eleyne is taught to devote herself to the old gods, to plan for the future and occasionally look into the past.

However, when she is incapable of recognizing the time and place in her horrifying dreams, Eleyne finds herself defenseless, as there is nothing she can do to prevent the disaster.

Author: Barbara Erskine
First Release: 1992
ISBN: 978-0006472643
Publisher: Harper Collins
Midnight Is a Lonely Place

"May the curse of the omnipotent Father befall you Marcus Severus Secundus.”

Still reeling from the effects of an affair and determined to complete her new book on Byron, Kate moves to a cottage on the desolate Essex seaside.

Alison Lindsey, the daughter of the owners of the cottage, has however been digging up what she believes is a Roman grave in the neighboring dunes.

Kate's arrival however coincides with the horror that ensues, as the ghosts of the Roman, Marcus Severus Secundus, his wife Claudia and her paramour, the Druid prince, Nion, endeavor to unleash revenge on each other two millennia after their deaths.

Author: Barbara Erskine
First Release: 1994
ISBN: 978-0007280773
Publisher: Harper Collins
House of Echoes

Although she was adopted at birth, Joss Grant inherits Belheddon Hall—a stunning old mansion on the coast of East Anglia.

Having fulfilled her dream, Joss simply can’t wait to begin a new chapter there with her husband, Luke, and her young son, Tom.

She is also eager to uncover more about the recently discovered family who called Belheddon home for generations.

But soon after they move in, mysterious things start happening.

Could ghosts be living in their new home? Or is this a creation of her imagination?

It won’t take long before Joss learns that her family is under the heel of a vicious and powerful force.

Author: Barbara Erskine
First Release: 1996
ISBN: 978-0007280780
Publisher: Harper Collins
On the Edge of Darkness

Adam Craig was fourteen when he crossed paths with the mysterious Brid in the Scottish wilds.

When their friendship gradually turns into passion, Brid leads a gullible Adam into the sixth century, where—drilled as a Druid priestess—she has become an expert of old mysteries and deadly magic.

Largely viewed as a turncoat by the locals after giving herself to Adam, Brid escapes death by a whisker after following Adam to the capital where he is to pursue medicine.

But as the years go by, Adam falls in love with someone else in an act that attracts the scorn of Brid.

However, five decades later, Adam will need the help of his granddaughter, Beth, to reverse Brid’s curse.

Author: Barbara Erskine
First Release: 1998
ISBN: 978-0007288656
Publisher: Harper Collins
Whispers in the Sand

After separating from her husband, Anna Coburn decides to cruise on the great Nile from Luxor to the Valley of the Kings; backtracking on a trip made by her great-grandmother, Louisa.

Among the things she carries are Louisa’s scent bottle from ancient Egypt and records of the initial cruise that have never been read in a century.

As she retraces Louisa's trip, she comes across a moving love story during the era of Queen Victoria, and a dark secret regarding the scent bottle.

Two men who are part of the travelling group are however unsettlingly drawn to these souvenirs.

But that’s not the worst part. Anna is being troubled by a powerful force.

Author: Barbara Erskine
First Release: 2000
ISBN: 978-0007288649
Publisher: Harper Collins
Hiding from the Light

The parish of Manningtree and Mistley is haunted by a terrible past.

In 1644, Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins tormented several women there.

Among them was Liza the herbalist, who still has a cottage there.

There are people who believe that the ghosts of the victims haunt the old shop on the High Street.

Emma Dickson now lives in Liza’s cottage, having abandoned a successful career in the city.

However, with Halloween right around the corner, Emma starts having devastating dreams that threaten her sanity.

Desperate, she turns to Mike, the local rector, for help.

Mike is however also troubled by a sinister power.

Author: Barbara Erskine
First Release: 2002
ISBN: 978-0007288632
Publisher: Harper Collins
Daughters of Fire

The mighty Roman army invaded Britannia two millennia ago.

Cartimandua, the princess who would later become a formidable queen, watches as their foes edge closer.

Viv Lloyd Rees is a historian based in modern day Edinburgh.

Deeply interested in the story of the Celtic queen, she has not only authored a book but is also working on a dramatization of the young ruler, with the help of actress, Pat Hebden.

Things however get more intriguing when Hugh Graham, Viv's Head of Department, continues hounding her as she grapples to conceal her visions of Cartimandua and her conviction that seem so real.

Author: Barbara Erskine
First Release: 2006
ISBN: 978-0007174270
Publisher: Harper Collins
The Warrior's Princess

Jess, a London-based teacher, takes off to her sister's home in the Welsh borders after being terribly ambushed by somebody she is convinced she knows.

There, she is haunted by the cries of a strange child.

Thousands of years ago, the place where the house is located was the scene of an epic battle between King Caractacus and the Romans.

Ultimately, Caractacus was apprehended and imprisoned in Rome, along with his wife and daughter, princess Eigon.

Fascinated by the tale, Jess launches an investigation that will see her uncover shocking details about Eigon's life.

Author: Barbara Erskine
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-0007174294
Publisher: Harper Collins
Time’s Legacy

It’s Cambridge in the modern times.

Abi, recently consecrated priest of the Church of England, is stationed in an infamously troublesome parish.

In charge is the delightful but fundamentalist Kier who is opposed to her mysticism--her ability to heal.

So when she sees a group of worshippers in an old church, she is labeled as a sorcerer by Kier.

But Abi soon sees more visions; an entire Roman family history, dark with betrayal and a promise of bloody revenge.

As she has more terrifying visions about the dark past of a Roman family, Abi must not only face the terror that lies ahead but also confront her own devils.

Author: Barbara Erskine
First Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-0007302291
Publisher: Harper Collins
River of Destiny

 “Anglo Saxon Britain. Victorian Era. Present Day.”

When Zoe and Ken occupy one of the converted barns on the banks of Suffolk’s River Deben, they are ready to begin a new chapter away from the stressful city life.

Although they seem happy, the two are drifting further apart each day.

The mysterious forces that Zoe feels in their home and the shapes of ghosts on the river are growing bolder by the day.

Farmers then unearth human bones not far from the river.

Could they be linked to the disaster during the Victorian era that nobody ever talks about?

Author: Barbara Erskine
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-0007302321
Publisher: Harper Collins
The Darkest Hour

It’s the summer of 1940.

Britain is in war.

The youthful Evie Lucas is madly in love with Tony, a young pilot.

Although she has a promising career as an artist, Evie spends all her time creating artworks of Tony.

She wants his family to have something that will remind them of him, just in case he doesn’t return home.

Seven decades later, Lucy, who recently lost her husband, is trying to rebuild her life.

An art historian by profession, she endeavors to unravel the story about an artwork in her home.

But when she unearths history that was deliberately buried, Lucy falls under the radar of some deadly people.

Author: Barbara Erskine
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-0007513154
Publisher: Harper Collins
Sleeper’s Castle

1400—War is on the horizon in the Welsh borders.

Catrin is falling in love.

Her father, a seer, is engaging in a dangerous game with welsh princes and English lords.

For two decades, the people of Wales have dreamt of being free from the abuse of the English.

And from the look of things, the charming Owain Glyndwr could be the promised savior.

In the Sleeper's Castle lies Catrin, summoned to reveal the fate of Wales.

2015—Desperate for some peace, Miranda goes to the Sleeper's Castle.

However, whenever she shuts her eyes, she connects with a young screaming girl.

Can she help her? Or is Miranda going insane?

Author: Barbara Erskine
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-0007513178
Publisher: Harper Collins
The Ghost Tree

Finally back in Edinburgh following the demise of her alienated father, Ruth is forced to arrange his belongings.

While going through his things, she finds a secret eighteenth-century diary written by her forefather, Thomas Erskine.

Going through the olden pages, Ruth irreversibly plunges into a fascinating tale.

Although Thomas, the youngest son of a noble family, was raised in impoverishment, his remarkable achievements elevated him from the high seas to Lord Chancellor.

Nevertheless, in his exceptional journey, Thomas makes a deadly foe that haunts him far beyond the grave.

Having now opened a past that she shouldn’t have, Ruth will have to fight hard if she is to survive.

Author: Barbara Erskine
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-0008195847
Publisher: Harper Collins

Short Story Collection

Encounters

"Vengeance, fear, hope, and passion."

This book is a collection of more than forty short tales that illustrate why Barbara Erskine is one of the most gifted storytellers in the world.

Some of the tales are funny; some are exciting, while others are downright emotional.

Some of the tales found in this collection include: A Face in the Crowd and A Step Out of Time.

This collection of short stories will unequivocally take readers through a plethora of emotions.

Author: Barbara Erskine
First Release: 1990
ISBN: 978-0006470687
Publisher: Harper Collins
Distant Voices

“Modern. Historical. Scary. Pure Comedy.”

This book is a collection of short stories that will further illustrated why Barbara Erskine is one of the most gifted storytellers in the world.

Readers will be taken through a rollercoaster of emotions, with short and sweet tales talking about love, passion, loneliness, pain, grief, treachery, adventure and intriguing suspense.

With more than thirty engrossing tales, readers are certainly guaranteed to have a quick and unforgettable read.

Author: Barbara Erskine
First Release: 1997
ISBN: 978-0008180911
Publisher: Harper Collins
Sands Of Time

This book is a collection of fascinating tales by Sunday Times bestselling author, Barbara Erskine.

It contains two engrossing long stories that feature the beloved characters from Whispers in the Sand (2000).

Still troubled by ancient mysteries, Anna and Louisa must yet again fight to overcome the past in order to survive the present.

Other delightful tales include: A blissfully married woman who has an illicit affair with a man who passed away during The Great War; A young girl swinging in the garden that only Charlotte can see; and an airplane traveler who suddenly ends up on the freezing Canadian wastes.

Author: Barbara Erskine
First Release: 2003
ISBN: 978-0006512097
Publisher: Harper Collins