A Sutton mum, writer and adoptive parent and has written a book about the hospital almoners (early social workers) of the 1920s. It’s a narrative non-fiction that reads like a crime novel.
Petrina Banfield is an ex-Surrey Police employee, a foster carer and writer. Letters from Aliceis her first book. Petrina Banfield says: ‘I could never have dreamed that searching through some dusty old boxes to solve a mystery at the heart of my own family would lead to a book deal with HarperCollins! I was thrilled when I heard that Letters from Alice was going to be published.
Seeing it on the shelves is going to be a dream come true!’
HarperCollins Publishers has acquired world English Language rights to Letters from Alice by Petrina Banfield, the fascinating true story of a 1920s almoner, pieced together from a collection of letters found in the London Metropolitan Archives. Editorial Director Vicky Eribo negotiated the deal for Harper Element from Laetitia Rutherford at Watson, Little. Letters from Alice was published on 9th August 2018.
Petrina Banfield’s father was taken into care as a baby and then separated from his identical twin at the age of five. While conducting research at the London Metropolitan Archives to try and reassemble the scattered fragments of her father’s childhood puzzle, Petrina stumbled upon some letters from a London almoner called Alice. Captivated by the heart stopping drama of the true-life stories documented within the letters and the hospital almoners’ reports, Petrina was driven to find out more about these early social workers’ remarkable work.
The result is Letters from Alice, a gripping and deeply moving tale, enriched with lively social history and excerpts from newspaper articles, which brings the colourful world of 1920s London to life.
Vicky Eribo says: ‘Letters from Alice is compelling, gritty and brilliantly researched. Petrina is wonderful writer. I feel incredibly privileged to be working with her on this fascinating book.’