Guineveres debut novel is snapped up

Published: 17 November 2014 at 11:39

Anglia Ruskin graduate’s historical fiction to be published in UK and Germany

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Anglia Ruskin University graduate Guinevere Glasfurd is celebrating after her debut novel was snapped up by publishers Two Roads, an imprint of John Murray Press.

Guinevere, who graduated from the MA in Creative Writing at Anglia Ruskin in 2011 and lives in Waterbeach, near Cambridge, will see The Words in My Hand published in hardback in early 2016.

Set in the 17th century Dutch Republic, The Words in My Hand tells the story of Helena Jans van der Strom, a Dutch servant girl, her relationship with René Descartes and their daughter – a story hidden at the time, and almost entirely lost from history since.

Lisa Highton, Publisher of Two Roads, said:

“Helena is one of the most fully‐formed and believable characters I’ve come across in some time – a true feminist protagonist and woman in love.
“Her determination to educate herself and her joy in words and writing is a thing of wonder and heroism.  From the little that is on record of Helena’s life Guinevere has fashioned an inspiring and moving story of an extraordinary woman.”

Guinevere, who has already seen the German rights to The Words in My Hand acquired by publishers Ullstein, said:

“Often, we hear stories of the woman behind the great man.  In telling Helena’s story, I wanted to realise the woman in front of Descartes – a woman who, although constrained by her context, was bright, capable, and utterly alive to the world.”

After graduating with a distinction from the MA Creative Writing in 2011, Guinevere was awarded a place on the Writers’ Centre Norwich Escalator programme.  Her short fiction has been published in Mslexia, The Scotsman and in an anthology from the National Galleries of Scotland, and earlier this year she won the TLC’s Pen Factor Award.

Speaking about her study at Anglia Ruskin, Guinevere added:

“The MA was pivotal to my development as an early career writer.  It provided me with a core set of skills on which to build, and feedback to refine my work.  Taking the MA in Creative Writing at Anglia Ruskin helped set me on my way.”

Laura Dietz, Course Leader for the MA in Creative Writing at Anglia Ruskin, said:

“Guinevere is an exceptional prose stylist and fantastic all-around writer.  We’re thrilled for her and wish her every success with the UK and international editions of The Words in My Hand.”

For further information about Guinevere and to read examples of her work, visit
For further information about Two Roads Books, visit