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Fourteen-year-old Marie Ann Lawson had always run when she might have walked, and as she was running away from a sight she would rather not have witnessed she stumbled and fell, to be discovered by a local man, who because of a disfigurement, was known as "the branded man". His sudden appearance frightened her into unconsciousness and when she came to, she was back home at The Manor and confined to bed for an indefinite period.
Marie Ann was dispatched to London, where Aunt Martha would supervise the nurturing of her natural ability to play the piano. Only the friendship of her aunt's companion, Sarah Foggerty, made the stay tolerable -- that and the encouragement she received from her music tutor. Why then did his sudden disappearance make it necessary for her to return to the care of her grandfather in Northumberland?
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Fourteen-year-old Marie Anne Lawson, youngest daughter of a prosperous Northumbrian family, fleeing from something she couldn't bear to see, fell and broke her ankle. She was discovered by a local man who, because of a disfigurement, was known thereabouts as 'the bandedman'.
Her mother impatiently awaited her recovery, for she had already planned to send her wayward daughter to London, where her Aunt Martha could encourage the child's natural talent for the piano. But Aunt Martha's regime was so harsh that only the friendship of her aunt's companion, Sara Foggerty, stopped Marie Anne from plunging into despair--that and the encouragement she received from her music tutor. Why, then, did his sudden disappearance make it necessary for her to return to Northumberland, this time into the care of her grandfather?
Set at the turn of the century in Northumberland and London, THE BRANDED MAN is the gripping story of Marie Anne, Sarah Foggerty and the mysterious 'branded man', who was to influence both their lives to an extent that neither of them could have imagined. This, Catherine Cookson's eighty-fifth novel, is yet another example of her extraordinary talent for compulsive storytelling.
Catherine Cookson was born in Tyne Dock, the illegitimate daughter of a poverty-stricken woman, Kate, whom she believed to be her older sister. She began work in service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married Tom Cookson, a local grammar-school master. Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer - her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby Award for the best regional novel of 1968 - her readership quickly spread throughout the world, and her many best-selling novels established her as one of the most popular of contemporary women novelists. After receiving an OBE in 1985, Catherine Cookson was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1993. She was appointed an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda's College, Oxford, in 1997. For many years she lived near Newcastle upon Tyne. She died shortly before her ninety-second birthday, in June 1998.
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