Author of the Seventeenth Century Midwife series.
Annelisa Christensen: bringing history to life.
One day, several years ago, Annelisa won some pages of a seventeenth century trial in an auction, merely to hold a piece of a 300-year-old book. That purchase changed her life. The defendant in the trial captivated her. The defendant's story demanded to be told. Annelisa's debut novel, The Popish Midwife, is based closely on the true story of Elizabeth Cellier, an extraordinary C17th midwife.
Annelisa's research revealed Cellier to be known in three areas of interest - for writing books, being caught in The Popish Plot and as a forward-thinking midwife - but her story was all in pieces and scattered. The author found the story inspirational and wanted to link it all together and share it with people of today. The result is a fantastic and exciting, award-winning true story, which will keep you wanting to know how it ends. Read More…
“In a word, Captivating! The Popish Midwife is an extraordinary read… From the stench & squalor of Newgate, to the opulent splendour of St James’s Palace. You’re there, right amongst it, a 17th century time-warp… A wonderful tale of high treason, love & betrayal.” – P.S.
In seventeenth-century London, thirteen years after the plague and twelve years after the Great Fire, the restoration of King Charles II has dulled the memory of Cromwell’s puritan rule, yet fear and suspicion are rife. Religious turmoil is rarely far from tipping the scales into hysteria.
Elizabeth Cellier, a bold and outspoken midwife, regularly visits Newgate Prison to distribute alms to victims of religious persecution. There she falls in with the charming Captain Willoughby, a debtor, whom she enlists to gather information about crimes against prisoners, so she might involve herself in petitioning the king in their name.
”Tis a plot, Madam, of the direst sort.”
With these whispered words Willoughby draws Elizabeth unwittingly into the infamous Popish Plot and soon not even the fearful warnings of her husband, Pierre, can loosen her bond with it.
This is the incredible true story of one woman ahead of her time and her fight against prejudice and injustice.
What Readers Say:
“Never have I read a book so absorbing that, without exaggeration, when I eventually looked up from reading, part of me struggled to discover I was still in the twenty first century.” – D.K.T-L
“A fantastic novel, brilliantly written, and hard to put down – it had me up well past midnight desperate to know the rest of Elizabeth’s story.” – E.
“Fascinating read… This is a brilliant book, well written and difficult to put down.” – M.C.
“I was drawn in right from the start. It is easy to imagine the suspicion, prejudice and fragility of life at that time.” – M.G.
“Cellier’s story is beautifully-written; her indefatigable heroism and the dialogue of the period are perfectly realised by the author.” – K.A.
“Vividly and beautifully written, the language of the day ringing throughout… an enthralling read for those who believe in equality and social justice. As historical fiction, it immerses you in the era; as a biography, it tells a great story… ” – S.N.
“The era of the time is brought to life by some excellent writing the realism of which made me whince [sic] here and there.” – S.H.
“Vivid characters and unbelievable attention to detail in the telling make this story one you’ll remember.” – T.L.
“The sights, sounds and smells of the time are well evoked by Christensen in a language which convinces the reader we could be in a coffee house listening to the likes of Samuel Pepys.” – P.M.
“Those who enjoy fact based historical novels, the Stuart period, and a strong female lead character, will find it a richly rewarding read.” – Anon.
“Once you start to read you will not put it down without finishing it. I liked this book so much. What a brave woman and strong and touchy story.” – J.S.
“I can’t wait to read more from this author” – M.L.
*First book in the Seventeenth Century Midwives series.