The Asquith family were closely associated with Clovelly Court and the current owner of Clovelly is Asquith’s great-grandson. At the time of his appearance in Chapter 5 of Barefoot on the Cobbles, Herbert Henry Asquith was the Prime Minister. A staunch Liberal, he was a barrister by profession. He is hailed as the founder of the modern welfare state; a number of significant reforms were introduced under his leadership. He was however a noted adversary of the woman’s suffrage movement and it is in this context that he crosses the pages of Barefoot. His inclusion in the novel relates to a well-known local incident and almost all the words that he uses in the book are taken directly from newspaper reports.
‘Instead of closing his eyes in prayer, the Prime Minister was scanning the note. He looked towards the pew a couple of rows in front of him, where the three young women were seated and then to the side door of the church. His jaw-line, with its cleft chin, was set firm and hastily he put the scrap of paper into his pocket.’
Barefoot on the Cobbles will be published on 17 November 2018. More information about the novel can be found here. Copies will be available at various events in the weeks following the launch or can be pre-ordered from Blue Poppy Publishing or the author.