The Jewel

Catherine Czerkawska

Catherine Czerkawska is a Scottish-based novelist and playwright who has written plays for the stage and for BBC radio and television, and published eight works of fiction.

Her latest book, A Proper Person to be Detained, is something of a departure: it tells the true story of the murder of her great-great-uncle in 19th-century Leeds.

Catherine’s novels include The Physic Garden, The Jewel, and The Curiosity Cabinet, which was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize. Her latest novel, The Posy Ring, is the beginning of a trilogy set on the same Scottish island featured in The Curiosity Cabinet. She has edited For Jean, a collection of Robert Burns’ poetry and songs written for his wife, and Catherine’s short stories have been published in a wide variety of magazines and anthologies.

Catherine has taught creative writing for the Arvon Foundation and spent four years as Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the University of the West of Scotland. When not writing, she collects and deals in the antique textiles that often find their way into her fiction.

The Jewel

by Catherine Czerkawska

  • RRP: £8.99 (print) / £4.99 (ebook)
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781910192238
  • Ebook ISBN: 9781910192245

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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.

From the author: book group questions for The Jewel

REVIEWS OF The Jewel

"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