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H7 Stacey Halls & Susan Stokes Chapman

The Bath Festival 2024

The Guildhall

Two outstanding historical fiction writers, Stacey Halls and Susan Stokes-Chapman make a welcome return to the festival, to discuss their alluring, immersive new novels with writer-in-residence Cathy Rentzenbrink.

There's something mysterious about the village of Penhelyg. Will unlocking its truth bring light or darkness? Susan Stokes-Chapman, bestselling author of Pandora, conjures the beauty and darkness of 18th-century Wales with her haunting new novel, The Shadow Key.

Set against Charles Dicken's home for fallen women and inspired by real figures from history, The Household is the most ambitious and captivating novel yet from Stacey Halls, bestselling author of The Familiars, The Foundling and Mrs England.

Praise for The Shadow Key:

'A haunting, transporting mystery…kept me completely enthralled' Elodie Harper

'A gripping, beautifully executed historical thriller, full of arcane magic and Welsh mythology' Rosie Andrews

Praise for The Household:

'Stacey Halls is a writer of great originality, great imagination and great sense of place. Atmospheric, intelligent, accessible, every novel is worth reading, then reading again and again' Kate Mosse

'Historical fiction at its feminist best' RED

Stacey Halls was born in Lancashire and worked as a journalist before her debut The Familiars was published in 2019. The Familiars was the bestselling debut hardback novel of that year, won a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the British Book Awards’ Debut Book of the Year. The Foundling, her second novel, was also a Sunday Times top ten bestseller. The Household is her fourth novel.

Susan Stokes-Chapman was born in 1985 and grew up in the historic Georgian city of Lichfield, Staffordshire. She studied for four years at Aberystwyth University, graduating with a BA in Education & English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing. Her debut novel, Pandora, was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction prize 2020 and the Glass Bell Award and became an instant Sunday Times number-one bestseller. You can find Susan on Instagram and Twitter under the handle @SStokesChapman. Her website is



H7 Stacey Halls & Susan Stokes Chapman