Rebecca Wyldewood’s debut historical novel is represented by
Lindsay Guzzardo at Martin Literary Management.
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‘The golden ball rolls to everybody’s feet once in a lifetime.’ So goes the old saying, but Sarah Sprules fears it’s unlikely that good fortune will ever come her way. Three generations of Sprules men were herbalists in decades past, but when Sarah accidentally poisons a child with hemlock and becomes shunned as the village witch, she ruins her family’s reputation. Despite persecution and grinding poverty, Sarah dreams of restoring the Sprules legacy, buying her own lavender farm and distilling oil ‘fit for a queen’. One rival, however, vows to sabotage her at every turn: Silas Prawle-Hearst, whose neighbouring lead factory is rife with abuse and wickedness, and to whom Sarah finds herself miserably chained in an unspeakable secret. Set in a bewitching landscape where the Old Ones still whisper magic to those who will listen, Sarah must rely upon her witchlore instincts in order to vanquish Silas, win the villagers’ approval, and ultimately forgive herself.

Based on the true story of Sarah Sprules, the official lavender purveyor to Queen Victoria and an indomitable businesswoman ahead of her time.