Set against the backdrop of the wonderfully vibrant and rich world of Georgian London, The Foundling centres on The Foundling Hospital — created by Thomas Coram in the mid-eighteenth century as the first children’s charity. The Foundling Museum still stands on the original site of the Hospital in central London. At the heart of the novel is a token left by a young unmarried woman as she hands her tiny baby girl over; a heart carved from whalebone. This token is the only clue as to which of two women is the mother of this foundling child — and who her father was. The Foundling examines the stark contrast between rich and poor in Georgian London and themes of families, secrets, class, equality, power and the meaning of motherhood.
“Zaffre is the perfect home for Bess, Alexandra and Clara and I’m so excited for readers to discover them …”
Stacey Halls, author
Author Stacey Halls said: “The idea for The Foundling came to me when I visited the museum and saw the wall of tokens — everyday objects from Georgian England such as engraved coins and swatches of fabric cut from clothes — that women left with their babies to identify them if they were in a position to collect them one day. I found these scraps of hope so moving. They’re so telling of how little poor women had, and how they thought they’d be giving their child a better life in leaving them at The Foundling Hospital. Zaffre is the perfect home for Bess, Alexandra and Clara and I’m so excited for readers to discover them, and for all the hard work Bonnier Books UK put in to make The Familiars a success beyond what I ever imagined for it.”
Juliet Mushens of Caskie Mushens said: “The Foundling showcases what Stacey does best; nuanced women, a fascinating historical period and a clever and page-turning plot. I am so excited for readers to immerse themselves in their world.”
“It is a compelling, powerful, energetic and gripping narrative with wonderfully drawn characters at its heart, set against a rich historical setting. Stacey is a huge talent and with this second novel, she is really hitting her stride as a writer to watch.”
Margaret Stead, publishing director
Margaret Stead, publishing director at Zaffre said: “The teams at Zaffre and Bonnier Books UK have been hugely proud of the success of The Familiars and we are incredibly excited about The Foundling. It is a compelling, powerful, energetic and gripping narrative with wonderfully drawn characters at its heart, set against a rich historical setting. Stacey is a huge talent and with this second novel, she is really hitting her stride as a writer to watch.”
Stacey Halls is the biggest selling debut author of 2019 so far with The Familiars, selling over 28,200 copies TCM in hardback and remaining in the Sunday Times top 10 bestseller chart for 15 weeks. TV rights for The Familiars have been acquired by the Bureau Production company.