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Emilia Hart is a bestselling historical fiction British Australian author that is best known for her debut novel “Weyward.” The author was born in Sydney and went to the University of New South Wales where she studied Law and English Literature.
Following her graduation from University, Hart would proceed to work as a lawyer in both London and Sydney. While Emilia pursued a career as a legal practitioner, it is clear that she always loved storytelling given that she also studied English Literature.
After practicing for a few years, she enrolled in the Three Month Online Novel Writing Course by Curtis Brown Creative. She was one of the most highly commended authors at the Caledonia Novel Awards in 2021.

Following the completion of the course at Curtis Brown she would be represented by Felicity Blunt of Curtis Brown. The agent sold Weyward the debut novel by Emilia Hart in a pre-empt deal over forty-eight hours.

The novel was ultimately published in 2023. Emilia Hart has also published short fiction that has been published in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Hart currently makes her home in London in England where she pens her novels.

Hart was inspired to write “Weyward” in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. At this time, she was living in the Cumbrian countryside and had fallen in love with the dark tunneling woods, purple with heather and windswept fells.

It was a peaceful place to live but it was powerful too as it hummed with ancient and strange energy. Looking into the stillness, she often saw movement from the shimmering surface of a pond full of damselflies to the ravens bursting froth from an old oak tree.
It was the place she found refuge in during a time of great uncertainty. As she walked down winding lanes past the bright wildflowers on hedgerows, she always felt an unfamiliar peace. She was able to reckon with a lot of painful experiences that she could not do while living in the city.

It was at this time that Emilia Hart also learned a lot about local history and particularly the Pendle witch trials which happened in 1612 Lancaster. There was a juxtaposition between the peaceful and stunning countryside and misogyny with its dark history.
As she listened to radio reports about domestic violence rates that were o the rise during the lockdowns she felt she had to write about it. She began thinking of three things; the power of nature, escape, and persecution that she would distill into her debut novel.

Emilia Hart has said that while she always felt a strong drive to write, she had for the longest time been fearful about starting a novel. She had several attempts to her name but would ultimately not finish which is probably why she mainly stuck to poetry and short stories.
However, when she had the idea for Weyward her debut she started thinking that if she could draft complicated legislation and legal advice perhaps she was ready for a novel. However, it turned out that writing is way harder even though practicing as a lawyer provided her with the confidence to try.

Conducting extensive research also helped her a lot as she read all manner of good books on the Pendle Witch Trials and several others across England. The good thing was that the Pendle Witch trials are among the most meticulously recorded thanks to Thomas Potts’s 1613 work “The Wonderful Discovery of Witches.”
The author had been a law clerk that had been a witness to the trials that had been overseen by Justices Bromley and Altham. Emilia Hart also read “James I and the English Witch Hunts” by Tracey Borman.

The work was great in its explanation of how James VI imported the witch hunt frenzy from Scotland when he ascended the English throne.

Hart penned “Weyward” his debut novel while she was still working full-time as a lawyer. As such, her writing days were very varied as they were dependent on how much work she had and what day of the week it was.

On weekdays, she used to wake up early and write for about an hour before heading to work. She used to literally work from her bed even before she took her coffee. She actually believes that being in that half-awake and foggy state may have been helpful in penning Weyward.
For Emilia Hart, writing was something of an escape from the lockdowns. It provided a serene world where she could escape when reality seemed too monotonous and grim.

“Weyward” by Emilia Hart is an intriguing novel that tells the story of three women over the course of the centuries. The novel follows three women of Crows Beck in the English province of Cumbria that have a common gift.

All three women can have a deep connection and seem to be able to communicate with nature and animals. However, they are also controlled and victimized by men in all manner of ways.

The first story is that of Altha the healer from 1619 who finds herself on trial for witchcraft. She had been seen close to a farm where a farmer had been trampled by his bovines. Moreover, her mother who had also been involved in the healing trade had also been suspected of being a witch.

Centuries later during the 1940s, we are introduced to Violet Ayres who is chafing against the heavy-handed control and scrutiny from her father, even as she is attempting to learn more about Elizabeth Weyward her mother. The latter had died in very bizarre circumstances when she was just a child.

Fast forward to the present and we meet Kate Ayres who has run away from her abusive boyfriend before he learns that she is expecting. She flees to the home of her great-aunt Violet where she hopes she can protect herself and her baby as she rebuilds her life.

The novel weaves the stories of three women with some unique stories across 500 years. It makes for an enthralling work that speaks of female resilience that is at times harrowing and sometimes thoughtful, as it blends modern feminism and historical fiction.

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5 Responses to “Emilia Hart”

  1. Kate Ruzicka: 1 month ago

    Just finished Weyward. Fantastic and engaging. Keep writing! going to look for more writings by you!

    Reply
  2. Alison Fisher: 3 months ago

    Absolutely wonderful book; thank you so much for all your hard work. The women in the story are inspirational, as are you. I await your next book with bated breath.

    Reply
  3. Karin: 6 months ago

    Hi Emily

    I’ve very nearly finished ‘Weyward’ and I’m gutted that when I finish
    It, there will be no more to read.. please please, let’s have more of this
    Genre ; it resonates with me completely.
    Thank you ! Reading this is an absolute pleasure and transports me
    through time itself.. more please!
    Kindest regards
    Karin

    Reply
    • Stephanie: 6 months ago

      I loved this book ..I finished in 1 afternoon ..when can we expect your next book ..I’m waiting eagerly

      Reply
  4. cathy bloniarz: 9 months ago

    Hi Ms Hart I have read some stories on computer do you have any books at the library or sold in stores . or where can i find more your a great writer. Thanks Cathy

    Reply

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