Mrs Bates of Highbury by Allie Cresswell blogtour book review

mrs bates of highbury

Mrs Bates of Highbury: A prequel inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma is written and self-published by Allie Cresswell.  The book is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

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Product Details

The new novel from Readers’ Favourite silver medalist Allie Cresswell.

Thirty years before the beginning of ‘Emma’ Mrs Bates is entirely different from the elderly, silent figure familiar to fans of Jane Austen’s fourth novel. She is comparatively young and beautiful, widowed – but ready to love again. She is the lynch-pin of Highbury society until the appalling Mrs Winwood arrives, very determined to hold sway over that ordered little town. Miss Bates is as talkative aged twenty nine as she is in her later iteration, with a ghoulish fancy, seeing disaster in every cloud. When young Mr Woodhouse arrives looking for a plot for his new house, the two strike up a relationship characterised by their shared hypochondria, personal chariness and horror of draughts. Jane, the other Miss Bates, is just seventeen and eager to leave the parochialism of Highbury behind her until handsome Lieutenant Weston comes home on furlough from the militia and sweeps her – quite literally – off her feet. Mrs Bates of Highbury is the first of three novels by the Amazon #1 best-selling Allie Cresswell, which trace the pre-history of Emma and then run in parallel to it.

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I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting Allie Cresswell’s latest novel; Mrs Bates of Highbury.

I haven’t read Jane Austen’s Emma but I do love a good historical romance so after reading the synopsis for Allie Cresswell’s Mrs Bates of Highbury I was keen to learn more.

This is my first introduction to the work of Allie Cresswell and her words complimented the era and genre of the novel.  I feel for historical fiction you have to set your mind to that era and to expect the writing style to use words and phrases that are no longer in fashion.  Allie Cresswell did just that and at times I had to look up the meaning of some words; this is such a benefit with reading an ebook as a quick touch of the screen soon brings up the dictionary.  The author totally convinced me with her prose and I was soon immersed into the character’s lives.

Mrs Bates sounded such a kind, caring, gracious woman; a friend to all and a favourite figure to the whole community of Highbury.  As the wife to Revered Bates she complimented her role and would seek daily to help others.  She helped her husband with his work and was a guiding figure to her two daughters; 29 years Hettie and 17 year old Jane.  Hettie was a character I struggled to warm to at first, she had her quirks and her personality sometimes appeared rude and cumbersome.  But she was totally misunderstood and towards the end of the novel I grew a fondness to her and felt my feelings wanting to champion her and wishing her all that her heart desires.  Jane was just like her mother, very amenable but she also had an energy and lust for adventure.

This was such a lovely novel that lays down the groundwork to 30 years prior to Jane Austen’s Emma.  We learn of the backstory.  We learn of the heartache and struggles of the lives of the well-loved characters.  We learn of a village on the cusp of new beginnings for many.  At times I was evoked with emotions as I journeyed through life with Mrs Bates and her daughters.  There is also a gentle humour interwoven within the storyline.  I’m very much looking forward to discovering what lies ahead for Mrs Bates, Hettie and Jane.

About the Author

Mrs Bates Author PictAllie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.
She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.
She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.
She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters and two grandsons, is married to Tim and lives in Cumbria, NW England.
You can contact her via her website at or find her on Facebook

Social Media Links –

For the duration of the blog tour, Allie Cresswell has five hard copies of Game Show and five hard copies of Tiger in a Cage, all signed, available for £5 plus p & p to UK addresses. If you are interested then please get in touch.

3 thoughts on “Mrs Bates of Highbury by Allie Cresswell blogtour book review

  1. Pingback: The Other Miss Bates by Allie Cresswell blogtour book review | kraftireader

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