The Jewel

A Luscious Historical Novel About Robert Burns’ wife, Jean Armour.

The Jewel is set largely during the dramatic years of their courtship in Mauchline, their married life at Ellisland and in Dumfries, and Robert’s early death, all against a background simmering with political intrigue and turmoil. Jean – a beautiful young woman with the voice of a nightingale – has been inexplicably neglected by biographers and historians. At first, her stonemason father tried to protect the young Jean from the advances of the mercurial ploughman-poet, whose roving eye and even delusions of grandeur were notorious. Nevertheless, she fell for him and accepted his proposal. Their extraordinary marriage was passionate, tempestuous, and enduring against all odds, and its rocky course reveals Jean’s indomitable strength and character. How she lived with, and frequently without, Scotland’s most famous son tells us much about the life and times of Burns himself, and is a compelling story in itself.

Catherine Czerkawska

I’m an award winning novelist and professional playwright with many years of experience and many publications and productions to my name. I’m an experienced creative writing tutor and have judged a number of literary competitions. For four years I was Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the University of the West of Scotland. I find myself drawn to storytelling in all its many forms and now, years after I was first published, I’m joyfully embracing the digital revolution. I try to write the kind of books I love to read. I live and work in rural South Ayrshire with my artist husband, Alan Lees and I’m currently serving on the committee of the Society of Authors in Scotland.