Norah Lofts and Sun Court, Hadleigh
Recently, we were contacted by Waynona Gebara of Texas who pointed out the connection between Hadleigh and an author who still enjoys a wide readership in the United States.
Norah Lofts, an incredibly prolific author, was born in Norfolk. She taught English and History at a girls' school before turning to writing full time.
This meticulously researched trilogy of historical romances spans more than five centuries of Suffolk history, starting with Martin Reed, a fourteenth century serf and concluding with Frances Benyon in the mid 1950s.
"The third part author of the book is, of course, a house," wrote Norah Lofts. "It is one of many I saw, and wanted, on my house hunting days. It stands in a small Suffolk town called Hadleigh and when I saw it, was called Sun Court.
"It had belonged long ago to a wool merchant, and had a great door on the street big enough to admit a laden pack pony. Set into the big door was a smaller one for the convenience of people. In the great days of the wool trade a passage had run clean through the house into the yard at the back, and on one side of the passage there was the most beautiful, spacious room I have ever seen in a house of that size. I have made it the solar which Martin built for Magda."
Lofts wrote more than 50 books, including historical non-fiction and short stories. She also wrote under the pen name of Peter Curtis.
“Anyone who enjoys historical novels (and I don't mean historical romance!) would love Norah Lofts," writes
Waynona Gebara. "The only authors I've found to compare are Edward Rutherfurd (Sarum, London, etc.) and Ken Follett's "Pillars of the Earth". Most of her stories are extremely well-researched and centre around Suffolk and East Anglia.”
For more information on Norah Lofts, check out the BBC site.
STOP PRESS - Was Norah Lofts really inspired by Sun Court or was it another house on the High Street which caught her imagination. If anyone you have a copy of her autobiography this matter could be cleared up as we've been told that she makes it clear. Please get in touch with any information. email@example.com