Foley Arms Hotel

Foley Arms Hotel

Have just spent a wonderful  but busy few days in Great  Malvern and Worcester finalizing arrangements for the launch of the Water Doctor’s Daughters on March 23rd. It’s to be held at 2.00pm  in the spacious  Morgan Bar at Malvern’s  historic Foley Arms Hotel.  I will be giving an author talk before signing  copies of the book.  My  friend, local historian  Cora Weaver,  will also speak. There will be some light refreshments and everyone is welcome.

Lady Emily Foley

Lady Emily Foley

There are many prints and cartoons in the hotel’s  main lounge  depicting the  rather eccentric 19thC  water-cure treatments provided by Dr James Loftus Marsden and his colleagues.  And in the foyer  is a portrait of  the imperious Lady  Emily Foley.  As  Lady of the Manor she approved the Rev. John Rashdall’s  appointment as vicar of the Priory Church in 1850.  Rashdall was the Marsden girls’ maternal uncle. It was he who travelled to Paris when rumours arose that the children were being mistreated by their governess, Mlle Doudet.

I also went back to the churchyard to revisit the grave of Lucy Marsden, who died  in September 1853 after being brought home from Paris. She is buried beside her mother, John Rashdall’s sister, who had died during childbirth in 1847.

Lucy Marsden's grave

Lucy Marsden’s grave


Inside the church is a carved 15th century misericord seat, which somehow symbolizes the Paris trials. The owls represent the wisdom of the judicial system . The  victimized mice  hanging the cat  can be viewed as the surviving Marsden girls,  wreaking justice on their tormenter. But who does  the cat represent ….Mlle Doudet, their  governess or Dr Marsden,  their  father? Readers of the book must  make up their own mind.

Misericord in Malvern's Priory Church

Misericord in Malvern’s Priory Church


I am delighted that the launch is to be hosted by the Malvern Book Co-operative, an innovative , community funded venture. The friendly staff not only sell books, but coffee and home made  cakes, a heavenly combination in my opinion.

Hope to see you at the launch!


  1. Congratulations, Pauline. I wish I could be there, but with a few thousand miles between you and me, it will have to remain an unfulfilled wish. 🙂 All the best to you on your big day.

    • Pauline

      Thank you so much Diane, I wish you could be there too! It’s all very exciting. The support from people in general but especially in Malvern is really heartwarming.

  2. Good luck honey!



    • Pauline

      Thanks so much Vikki. I couldn’t have picked a more perfect venue than the Foley Arms so it should be great.

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