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The Visitors Paperback – 1 December 2021

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About the Author

Caroline completed a PhD in History at the University of Durham. She has a particular interest in the experience of women during the First World War, in the challenges faced by the returning soldier. Caroline is originally from Lancashire, but now lives in south-west France.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Simon & Schuster UK; ANZ Only edition (1 December 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 400 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1398508209
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1398508200

About the author

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My four great-grandfathers all served on the Western Front and I grew up in a house full of polished-up shell cases and silk postcards. In my childhood, the First World War seemed to be the answer to so many questions about our family history. By the time I was a teenager, I was dragging my poor long-suffering parents around former battlefields and collecting photographs and letters. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in this subject.

As a history PhD student, I adored research; it always seemed such a privilege to be allowed into archives, and behind the scenes in museums, and to have that sense of direct contact with the past. Centuries collapse when you unroll a scroll that no-one else has handled for decades, when you breathe it in, and focus in on the character expressed in the handwriting, and there’s a real immediate sense of communing with an individual from another time.

I became a commercial researcher after university, but history remained my out-of-hours passion through those years—and, while I worked in Belgium and France, I had the chance to pursue my interest in the First World War. I have a particular fascination with the experience of women during this period, in the difficulties faced by the returning soldier, and in the development of tourism and pilgrimage in the former conflict zones.

In 2019, I shifted from researching history to writing historical fiction. I’ve found that I enjoy exploring the past through sending characters on journeys—the opportunity that it gives you to walk around in someone else’s shoes (as it were) and the exciting challenge of really trying to breathe the air of another era. It’s the period immediately after the First World War that especially draws me in; time and again, my writing returns to this strange time of dislocation, the physical and psychological upheaval, the processing of memory and experience, and the task of getting back to something that might be called normal.

This is a story that so many of us share. As much as the shadow of the First World War fell across my family, so it lengthened across thousands of doorsteps. That’s why, as a nation, we keep on going back there. We all have those photographs in our family albums. Don’t we? Those stories. Those silences. Those questions.

For more information about my books and research, please visit

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