Hope for the future for Anna

Anna Hope
Anna Hope

A former Dr Who actress brings her debut novel to Chorley Library next Wednesday.

Anna Hope, who played Novice Ham in the sci-fi series, will be reading sections of Wake, signing books and answering questions on Wednesday, April 30 from 7pm.

Wake is set in the aftermath of the First World War and tells the stories of three women and the men in their lives. It follows the journey of The Unknown Soldier back to England from the battlefields of France.

Tickets, £3, are available from organisers ebb & flo bookshop, 12 Gillibrand St, Chorley (email diane@ebbandflobookshop.co.uk/ 01257 262773).

The tickets are redeemable against a copy of the book, which is available from the bookshop and on the night.

Anna Hope said: “The idea for Wake was born when I was reading about the suffrage movement; I knew that women were granted the vote in 1918 and I wanted to find out why – what had the war done for them?

“But I couldn’t really find many books – fiction or non-fiction – which dealt with the war through women’s eyes.

“So I decided I wanted to write about World War One from the perspective of the women who lived through it.

“I visited the battlefields, saw the graveyards for the first time. Saw those endless lines of white crosses, all the same.

“Saw the memorials to the Pals battalions who had died on the first day of the Somme, the memorial in Thiepval where 30,000 names are inscribed on the stone.

“It came when I was watching Andew Marr’s Making of Modern Britain – he re-enacted the choosing of the Unknown Soldier from four exhumed bodies in the hut in St Pol.

“I was gripped by this idea – and then starting reading more about the story of the Unknown Soldier.

“So I had my form – by using the body of the Unknown Soldier as a sort of lens, I could dip in and out of the consciousness of many different people, and get an insight into British society along the way.

“I was also really interested in this idea of dance instructresses, young women from working and lower middle-class backgrounds, who worked for hire in the new dancehalls – all of these young people dancing their socks off and then all of these broken young men who were not quite confident enough to go out there and find a partner themselves.”