As reported in The Bookseller last week, we are thrilled to announce that Orion Fiction have brought a”heart-wrenching” historical debut: The Puritan Princess by Miranda Malins.

In what promises to be the beginning of a fantastic career in historical fiction for Malins, commissioning editor Victoria Oundijian bought UK & Commonwealth rights in a 2-book deal. Orion describes the novel as ‘a heart wrenching novel of the struggles of power, feminism and hope for a better future against the backdrop of a warring country‘. Of the book, Oundijian said:

‘The Puritan Princess is that rare book where you already know the ending and yet are so swept up in the narrative that you find yourself desperate for history to work out differently. I have been desperate to find an authentic and fresh new voice in this area of historical fiction that brings with it a fresh perspective on a period of history we all believe we know so well, whilst also giving a voice to the women behind the throne, who have been all but forgotten.

Miranda Malins – trustee of the Cromwell Association and a leading expert on the often mis-understand Lord Protector – has an ambition to bring into the mainstream the period between the end of the Civil War and the accession of Charles II. She commented about the period:

‘The 1650s was a time of conflict and contrast as the country, led for the first time by an ordinary non-royal family, experimented with new forms of government and struggled to find its place in the world; everything was to play for at Cromwell’s colourful court. It is thrilling to embark on this journey with the wonderful Victoria and her team at Orion and I cannot wait to introduce Cromwell’s youngest daughter Frances – the real Puritan Princess – to readers searching for new historical heroines and eager to discover more about this pivotal but often overlooked period.’

Giles Milburn added: “I have long been enthralled by Miranda’s writing, who uses her astounding knowledge and passion for the 17th Century to bring it into vivid colour. I’m therefore utterly thrilled that The Puritan Princess has found a home at Orion Fiction. Without doubt Victoria shares Miranda’s vision of bringing the fascinating – and surprising – world of Oliver Cromwell’s court to life, through the eyes of his vivacious youngest daughter Frances.”

Set to be published in March 2020, the book follows Oliver Cromwell’s youngest daughter Frances as she navigates her way through the political intrigue and upheaval of her father’s reign, as well as her very human desire to find love.

It is the year 1657.

Following her father’s unprecedented ascent to become de facto ruler of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, Frances Cromwell has moved from her rural childhood home to the sumptuous surroundings of the palaces of Hampton Court and Whitehall.

In dramatic contrast to life on their Cambridgeshire farm, Frances and her three sisters attend masques and banquets, are served by ladies-in-waiting, and enjoy the attentions of everyone at court, who bow and curtsy to ‘Their Highnesses’.

These are uncertain times however, and an assassination attempt makes Frances and her sister Mary determined not to die without first experiencing true love. But when Oliver is officially offered the crown, Frances’s romantic quest suddenly assumes diplomatic and dynastic importance.

But will she allow herself to be a political pawn or will Frances find a way to control her own destiny?