Author inspired by town’s silk weaving launches new book

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An author, who grew up next door to a Sudbury silk weaving factory and bases her stories around the industry, is preparing to publish her second novel.

Liz Trenow’s father, Peter Walters, was the managing director of Stephen Walters and Sons silk mill in Cornard Road. Her family were silk weavers for nearly three centuries.

After researching her family’s history, Mrs Trenow wrote her first book, The Last Telegram, and her new work, The Forgotten Seamstress, is due to go on sale next week.

Her latest novel is a story of love, intrigue and heartbreak which draws inspiration from a collection of silks held at the Warner Textile Archive in Braintree.

Mrs Trenow visited the archive while looking into her ancestral history and came across pieces made by Warner and Sons for the wedding trousseau of Princess May – later Queen Mary – in 1893.

“Sadly, the Duke of Clarence died just six weeks before the wedding but, with typical Royal pragmatism, it was decided she should marry his younger brother, George,” said Mrs Trenow, who grew up in Little Cornard.

“He later became King George V and the May silks were used for this occasion. The silks were so entrancing and intriguing that I knew it would have to feature in my next novel.”

The book has a high level of expectancy surrounding it after The Last Telegram, published in September 2012, received critical acclaim.

It was based on Mrs Trenow’s memories of growing up in Sudbury and the picture of what life was like then, gathered from interviews with former weavers in the area. It follows the story of an East End orphan.

Published by Avon, The Forgotten Seamstress is available from Thursday, priced £7.99.