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Successful Women Podcast Show with your host Gill Donnell MBE

Episode 88: Elizabeth Cooke, Author - Who Killed Mary Ashford?

Gill Donnell

Elizabeth Cooke has always had a fascination with books both as a reader and an author. One of her earliest memories is being taken to a library and trying to reach up to the shelves; She was too young to read, but recalls a real thirst to know what was being said inside every cover. Books of all kinds are intimate and memorable for her because she still see them as doors into a private world. A writer reveals their thoughts, sensations and memories: a reader takes the author’s hand. Of whatever genre, a book is a shared experience.

Liz began her career winning a national short story competition, and worked producing some 120 stories and serials for IPC magazines. Her first novels were psychological thrillers of the ‘unnerving slow-burn’ variety, but her main focus has been historical themes and actual events told from unusual perspectives.

When she's not writing or researching, she visits book clubs, schools and creative writing groups. She really enjoys feedback and discussion, and particularly likes the enthusiasm and engagement from young writers.

Who Killed Mary Ashford? This is Elizabeth's new non-fiction, the story of the lasting mystery of the death of Mary Ashford in 1817.

This is a crowd-funded book by

Pledges begin at only £10 and for this you will get the first edition with your name in the book. All sorts of goodies are available for other pledges including a visit to Thomas Hardye’s cottage, a tour of Dorchester Museum’s writers gallery, a one-to-one critique of your own manuscript, a visit to your own book club, and much more.

In her exhaustive research Liz investigated the original trial transcripts, letters to and from the major players, the lives of those involved, the actual places of the events, and found out what happened afterwards. This event was one of the scandals of the 19th century and changed legal history in England. But who really attacked Mary Ashford? Was Abraham Thornton, her seducer, guilty of her death? And how does this case reflect on similar cases today? Has anything really changed for women in 200 years?

So if you are keen to support a creative project and see this book published, please pledge on

Please don’t hesitate to contact Liz through this site if you’d like to know more about her work.

Find her on Good Reads. Facebook Twitter& Instagram

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