About Caroline

As a child I wanted to be a farmer's wife, have twelve children and live in a house with roses round the door. My parents wanted me to be somebody's wife, preferably a respectable, well-heeled, professional somebody, and my headmistress thought I should be a scientist. It never occurred to me that one day I would become a writer, but here I am - writing.

However, in the course of my working life I did become a farmer as well as a farmer's wife, and I do live in a house with roses climbing over trees and pergolas, just outside the door; but twelve children was a bit much. I have two daughters and now five grandchildren.

I qualified as a teacher and after a career in teaching, which I loved, I took a law degree at Southampton University. I taught science and sewing(!) in Ghana and law at Aberystwyth University, opened a nursery school in Southampton and, together with my husband, milked Jersey cows in West Wales. In 2001 we moved our cows to Somerset and for several years made award-winning artisan cheese on our farm near Bruton.

In my spare time I learned to fly hot-air balloons and fixed wing aircraft, grew vegetables (especially onions) and went camping with family and friends in the Western Isles of Scotland and the hills of North Wales.

Retirement merely heralded a change of direction and I began writing books about the lives of the women in my mother's family tree: twenty-one women means twenty-one books - the mothers, the daughters and the daughters-in-law, all with husbands and families and stories to tell.

The first book "The Pearl of France" is about Marguerite of France who, in 1299, married Edward I as his second wife. The last book will be about my mother, Kathleen Bainbridge who married my father, Francis Newark, in 1934. Some of the stories will break your heart, others will make you smile. Many of these women faced unimaginable hardship, danger and loss, while others schemed and plotted to get what they wanted. There were forced marriages and torrid love affairs, women who were betrayed by their husbands and others with long and happy marriages.

Today I live in Somerset, in my house with roses just outside the door, together with my husband, Richard, and our faithful border collie, Pip.

What do I like doing now in my spare time? Walking, reading, doing crosswords and eating mint chocolate.