#BookReview The Illumination of Ursula Flight by Anna-Marie Crowhurst

All about the book

Born on the night of an ill-auguring comet just before Charles II’s Restoration, Ursula Flight has a difficult future written in the stars.

Against the custom of the age she begins an education with her father, who fosters in her a love of reading, writing and astrology.

Following a surprise meeting with an actress, Ursula yearns for the theatre and thus begins her quest to become a playwright despite scoundrels, bounders, bad luck and heartbreak

Publisher – Allen & Unwin

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support a local bookstore

Book Depository


If you are looking for a fabulous new character to welcome into your life, then look no further! Ursula Flight is a delight!! From a inquisitive and imaginative child, to a determined and feisty woman, this book follows Ursula in a sparkling debut set in the 17th century.

Another thing I loved about this book was the way the story was written. It’s all from the pen of Ursula, such as diary entries (think of the historic equivalent to Adrian Mole, or Bridget Jones!), alongside plays she wrote and performed in linked to episodes in her life that she witnessed or imagined, and it just made for such a light and refreshing read that was full of laughs, spirit and had that feelgood factor that just made me want more!

Ursula was born on the night of the comet, and throughout her childhood she always felt different to many others. She is from a well to do family and is educated by her father who she idolises. Her relationship with her mother was a little more difficult and that was also a revealing side to the story as her life progresses.

The historical side to the story is also very well done and you never feel like you’re just looking back, you feel like you’re a fly on the wall as she travels to various places, experiences new things and the expectations placed on her as a female of the time. But Ursula has different ideas and isn’t afraid to speak her mind and this can lead to problems for her when she’s expected to know her place and stay quiet.

With an education behind her she is never happy to just settle for a domestic life, and her dream is to write plays for the theatres of London. And with such a determined character such as Ursula, you never doubt her desire to achieve these ambitions, despite those around her doing their best to thwart them. She has to overcome a number of hurdles put in her way but she even approaches these with a wonderful sense of humour and humility.

I adored this book and especially Ursula, and found it to be a truly unique reading experience. An amazing debut novel and I will be eagerly awaiting more from this author!!



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