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The Jewel


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A luscious historical novel, The Jewel brings to glorious life the dramatic years of Jean Armour and Robert Burns’s courtship, and their tempestuous, passionate married life, against a background simmering with political intrigue and turmoil.

Jean, a beautiful young woman with the voice of a nightingale, set young Rab’s heart aflame from the first. Jean’s father tried to protect her from the advances of the mercurial ploughman-poet, whose roving eye was notorious. But she would not be kept from him. Their marriage endured against all odds, its rocky course revealing Jean’s indomitable strength and character. How Jean lived with – and frequently without – her famous husband is surely Scotland’s greatest love story.

To accompany The Jewel, Catherine has also edited For Jean, a collection of poems, songs and letters by Robert Burns for Jean Armour.


"Beguiling and enchanting ... I enjoyed this book so much that I read it twice." - Scottish Review

"Finally gives voice to Jeany Armour, the girl who sang as sweetly as the nightingale, who was muse, mother, wife and lover to Scotland’s national poet. This is her song." - Sunday Mail

"Uplifting … The reader finds themself deeply immersed… superbly researched." - Undiscovered Scotland

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The Jewel

About the author

Catherine Czerkawska

Catherine Czerkawska is a multi-award-winning novelist and playwright based in Scotland. She has written plays for the stage, ITV and BBC Radio 4, and has published numerous short stories. Her eight novels include The Curiosity Cabinet, shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize and serialised on BBC radio in 2013.

She has also edited For Jean – Poems, songs and letters by Robert Burns for his wife Jean Armour.

Praise for Catherine Czerkawska’s previous novel, The Physic Garden:

“A great novel. It is a beautiful, elegant, at times elegiac, expression and exploration of betrayal.” – Cally Phillips, IEBR Review.

“Elegant, restrained prose…compelling” – Sunday Times pick of historical fiction. “Historical fiction at its most luxurious.” – Authors Electric.

“A powerful story of love and obligation.” – John Burnside. “Moving, poetic and quietly provocative.” – The Independent.

“Heart-warming, realistic and page-turning.” – Lorraine Kelly.

“Beautiful – lyrical and sensual.” – Hilary Ely.

“Blisteringly eloquent” – The Scotsman.