The Lost Jewels by Kirsty Manning, the bestselling author of The Jade Lily, was inspired by the true story of the Cheapside hoard of valuable jewellery, uncovered in a cellar by a workman’s pick in 1912. It now forms a collection at the Museum of London, The British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Beginning initially in London in 1666 during the great fire of London, it moves to present-day Boston, USA. Dr Kate Kirby, a noted jewellery historian, has been offered an assignment by an up-market magazine Editor to travel to London and cover the Cheapside story.
The narrative moves to London in 1912 where Kate’s Great-grandmother, Essie Murphy, is living with her family in extremely poor circumstances and fighting to survive.
In an attempt to uncover the story behind the jewellery and the gemstones it displays, Kate travels to Hyderabad, India and the Golconda diamond mines. In Galle, Sri Lanka she follows a link from 1637 of a Dutch gem merchant returning home by ship with his vast collection.
In the meantime, she meets up with a distant cousin in London from whom she seeks answers to the never-discussed circumstances regarding Essie and her escape from London to Boston.
Will her family truths ever be disclosed or those regarding the cache of precious jewellery be revealed?
Kirsty Manning’s meticulous research cannot be faulted and her understanding of the crafts involved bring the narrative alive. From the mining of the stones to the finished pieces and the history behind their making The Lost Jewels with keep the reader enthralled.
The human stories behind the magic of the jewels are often heart-wrenching in comparison. However, love, family and friendship through the generations withstand all.
Informative and moving this is a must-read for 2020.
The Lost Jewels is available in paperback.
About Kirsty Manning
Kirsty Manning grew up in northern New South Wales. A country girl with wanderlust, her travels and studies have taken her through most of Europe, the east and west coasts of the United States and pockets of Asia.
Kirsty’s first novel was the enchanting The Midsummer Garden published in 2017. Her second book, the bestselling The Jade Lily was published in 2018. Her novels are also published in the US and in Europe.
Kirsty is a partner in the award-winning Melbourne wine bar Bellota, and the Prince Wine Store in Sydney and Melbourne. She lives in Melbourne, Victoria.