top of page

AN IDLE WOMAN by Wendy Parkins


1838, England: When eighteen-year-old Frances Dickinson impulsively marries Lieutenant John Geils, all her hopes for her future are quickly shattered as she finds there is much about her husband she did not know. A cruel and violent man, John keeps Frances in isolation on his family’s estate, while spending her fortune and preying upon their maids. 

Frances yearns to break free from her marriage but the law is not on her side. Only when John’s abuse escalates can she set in motion a daring plan to secure her freedom. 

A story of gaslighting, control and one woman’s fight, An Idle Woman is the true story behind one of the most sensational divorce trials of the nineteenth century.

‘Reading it felt like falling through the cracks of time and witnessing a terrifying fight for freedom first-hand.’ MEG ELLIS, @megsreadingspot

‘Exceptional writing and precise attention to detail make this an engaging and informative read one should not miss.’ LEAH MOYES, bestselling author of A Polish Nurse

‘Powerful, heartfelt and affecting, this is an important story that demands to be read.’ EMMA ALVEY, @emmas.biblio.treasures

An Idle Woman final cover.jpg

ISBN (Paperback Original): 9781915643278
ISBN (Ebook): 9781915643285
Published: 24th June 2024
Price: £9.99 (Paperback) £5.99 (Ebook)
Extent: 304 pages
Format: 198x129mm
Rights Held: World
Translation rights: Yes


Wendy Parkins was born in Sydney and now lives in Dunedin, New Zealand. She has held academic posts at universities in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, where she was Professor of Victorian Literature at the University of Kent until 2018. Her memoir, Every Morning, So Far, I’m Alive, was published in 2019. An Idle Woman is her first novel.

bottom of page