Hilldale author Jane Schofield has just published her second book Martha and William. It follows the success of Murder in Fiji published five years ago.
Martha and William is based on a private collection of letters and diaries dating back to 1849.
“They were a property of a friend of a friend, William Dove’s great-granddaughter,” she said. “She was wondering what she should do with them so I offered to look at them for her.
“What I found was love letters. Fragile and beautiful, written in faint brown copperplate on thin, yellowed sheets.
“The papers were not in any order, some were dated, others not, so I had a fine time puzzling out the story trying to work out the chronological order of things.
“Besides the letters themselves, there were articles from local newspapers from the 1850s, a number of letters from various other people. It took me a long time to piece them all together.”
The book is a story of joys and hopes, sorrows and disappointments and is on sale at Dungog Newsagency.