Wildthorn UK cover

UK cover

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Wildthorn US cover

US cover

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Wildthorn was inspired by a true story I came across in a book called Against Therapy by Jeffrey Masson. I learned that Hersilie Rouy, a nineteenth century French woman, was incarcerated in asylums for fifteen years despite the fact that she was sane. She was deprived of her true identity and the more she protested about this and about her treatment, the more this was taken as evidence of her insanity.

How terrible, I thought. And then, What must it have been like for her?

The injustice of what happened to Hersilie appealed to something deep in me and directly inspired my depiction of Louisa.

I’ve always been interested in and moved by stories of psychiatric patients, those who perhaps did need help, but often weren’t treated in helpful ways. My own mother was diagnosed as a ‘manic depressive’ as it was called then and spent years in and out of hospitals eventually lapsing into a state of depression.

I think part of my motivation in writing Wildthorn was to give voice propecia to all those poor lost people down the years who couldn’t speak for themselves. I’ve tried to do this through the other inmates, especially Beatrice.

The asylum is a dark place and what Louisa experiences there is frightening. But despite the secret that threatens to undermine her confidence, she has courage. I hope you enjoy accompanying her on her journey as she struggles to face up to the truth about herself and at the same time tries to unravel the mystery that lies behind her imprisonment.

If you’d like to make a comment about the book, please do.


“A bold and thrilling read”

Amanda Craig, The Times

“A thought-provoking and shocking story for teenagers and adults”


“A thrilling adventure in Victorian intrigue”

The Daily Mail

“Jane Eagland’s thrilling novel Wildthorn will have you reeling from the treachery and basking in the romance”

YA Bookshelf

“I can’t recommend this book highly enough.”


“How I can properly describe the amazingness of this fantastic book.”

Candace’s Reading Blog

“Read this if you want an amazing story.”


“So dramatic and moving it brought me to tears.”

Truth Be Told

“The mystery of who sent Louisa to Wildthorn and why kept me racing through the pages of the book.”

Katie, librarian at Winfield Library

Comments closed


  1. Peter Northwood
    Posted October 4, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    I met Jane in September and bought Wildthorn for myself, and Whisper My name for my mother. I was beyond happy, I had not read a story in several years and this had me gripped for 7 hours, I could not put it down. Thoroughly enjoyable, yet hard hitting story. Excellent work. Highly recommended.

    • Jane Eagland
      Posted October 5, 2010 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Peter! I’m glad you enjoyed Wildthorn. And it was nice meeting you! Jane

  2. Posted December 10, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Last summer, I was at the library looking for a good read. Wildthorn immediately caught my eye. A beautiful Victorian-esque cover (UK version, of course) and a peculiar title. I decided to read it, and I was amazed! Victorian novels are now my favourite. Jane’s style of writing is just entrancing. I am completely enamoured by it! Whisper My Name was even better! At the end, for some reason, I caught myself crying a bit, and I don’t cry reading stories. Ever. Anyway. Her books are amazing! 😀

    From, a 15 year old Canadian girl. :]

  3. Posted December 14, 2010 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    I happened to pick up “Wildthorn” at the local library in Gainesville. It was utterly amazing. You painted such an amazing story with your beautiful words and it was so heartwarming to see a story with not just a strong protagonist, but to also have her be a strong lesbian lead as well was just fantastic. I love how it doesn’t appear to be the main focus, though their love is what makes Louisa press on. It’s hard for me to express what makes this book so great without sounding cliche. I aspire to write books the way you do: meaning, I really want to write things that make me think, that tackle current issues and shed a positive light on them, and give others something good to find safety in.

    Thank you so much for such an amazing novel. I’ll be writing a review on my book reviews blog soon. (:

  4. Marz A
    Posted December 24, 2010 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    I just finished Wildthorn, and loved it! Weeks makes a very convincing Nurse Ratched. It was very reminiscent of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (I have actually read the book not just watched the movie). I am recommending to this book to evry one of my friends!

  5. Mireia
    Posted February 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m currently reading -almost finishing- wildthorn and I love it!
    If you are thinking: Why she is writing this?
    I have your answer well,… I am Spanish -Barcelona- and I have the wish that a spanish publisher buy your book and translate it
    because I think that Spanish people are losing a great book.

    Kisses, from a girl from across the pond ;D

    • Posted February 11, 2011 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Mireia. I too would be happy if a Spanish publisher bought my book! Jane

  6. Lenice
    Posted October 14, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Your book is too amazing i really feel like I am Louisa, that does not happen often! I experienced many emotions but in the end it was love! Love for you writing this book love for me buying it! This book has impacted me soo much I feel like I should be a writer, just because of you. Thank you for sharing this masterpiece with me. Sincerely a 13 year old girl Lenice

    • Jane Eagland
      Posted October 17, 2011 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Lenice, I’m so glad you enjoyed Wildthorn so much. If you decide to write yourself, I wish you all the best.

  7. Julie-Anne Spencer
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Wildthorn was a very enjoyable book to read, a story told very well. I find it amazing to think how intelligent women in those eras could possibly have stood not being able to be something better, to aspire to being a Doctor or any profession they have interest or aptitude in. I am happy to be born in an age where I can be the person I am, live openly and proudly with the person I love and be respected as the successful professional that I am.
    Thanks for a great read Jane.

    • Jane Eagland
      Posted December 17, 2011 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Yes, it was the injustice of it all that prompted me to write the book. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Katy
    Posted February 8, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    A lovely and intelligent read I enjoyed this book very much. A friend gave me this book as a birthday present 3 years ago and I have re read it again and again it was such a good book.Eliza and louisa were well built characters that you felt you could connect with so much. I enjoyed it so much and so did my sister when i reccomended it to her 😀

    • Jane Eagland
      Posted February 8, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      Katy, I’m delighted that you and your sister have enjoyed ‘Wildthorn’ so much. Thanks for letting me know.

  9. Chloe
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    I picked up wildthorn from my school library, and fell in love with it from the first page. I have nearly finished reading it, but when i do im going straight out and buying Whisper my name! i adored your book so much thank you for writing such an amazing book!

    Will there be a sequel to wildthorn? i hope so!

    • Jane Eagland
      Posted June 6, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Thanks for your lovely comment, Chloe. At the moment it doesn’t look as if there will be a sequel, but you never know! I hope you enjoy Whisper My Name as much.

  10. Jasmine
    Posted June 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    I just happened to pick up Wildthorn because the cover caught my eye. All I can say is WOW. This book is amazing and so wonderfully written. Not only was it a page turner (I read the entire book without stopping from front to back because it was so good) with it’s suspense and mystery but I also had a few good laughs there in the beginning reading about young Lou and all her memories of experiements and times as a child. (I especially loved the part where she wanted to test the green stockings!) This book is clearly so thought out and really just amazing. I felt like I was right there with her seeing and experiencing everything with her. I loved every single second of it. I wish there were a million more books by you Jane!!

    • Jane Eagland
      Posted July 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      Jasmine, I’m delighted you enjoyed ‘Wildthorn’ so much. Thanks for letting me know!

  11. Lamara Graham
    Posted July 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    I have read Wildthorn from beginning to end, and have enjoyed every word. However, I do feel that this book should not of been written as a TEEN book. Although the descriptive was written perfectly, I still think it may have been to intense for children from the age of 11. Being a mother of 3 boys, I feel like too much is being portrayed from the darker side of life and although this was based in the 18th century and things were quite different then, I still feel as if it is just too much from some of the chapters that I read. I am about to read Whisper my Name now. Both books were at my local Library in Newcastle/England.The cover caught my eye and as I read the back (which gives nothing away), I just had to have them. Reading some of the other comments above, I can see Teens have already read your books, and have enjoyed them just as much as me. I’m now beginning to think I may be living in the 18th century 😉

    Superb Book 10/10, but should of been in the Adult section.

    Lamara Graham

    • Jane Eagland
      Posted July 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Lamara, I’m glad you enjoyed Wildthorn. But I quite agree with you – I wrote it for older teens and adults and I usually suggest it’s more suitable for readers of 14 and over. You might find Whisper My Name for suitable for younger teens. Anyway, thanks for your score!

  12. Ambree
    Posted February 17, 2013 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    I finished Wildthorn just now. I was so disappointed I couldnt find a sequel. I was screaming “SHE LIKES U!!!!!!!!!!” halfway through the book and was sorely disappointed at Grace. She should have known that something was not right. I want to read more about things like this now. Im 14 and it was hard to read some of it, but I was reading adult novels when I was 10 because there was nothing else for me to read. The harsh reality of life. I hope you make a sequel, I want to see how things play out between her and Eliza.
    Cant wait for that day 🙂

    • Jane Eagland
      Posted February 23, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Ambree – it’s great that you would like a sequel. So far I’m afraid there are no plans for one, so I guess for now it’s up to you to imagine how life might turn out for Louisa and Eliza! I hope you find other books dealing with the things you want to read about.

  13. Brooke
    Posted May 28, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    I just finished Wildthorn today. It is a FANTASTIC novel. I loved the writing and how it constantly kept me thinking, even far after I had put the book down. I read it in about two and a half days and I still can’t stop thinking about how amazing it is. I just love everything about the book. Thank you for writing this. I certainly will be in line to buy your next novel.

    • Jane Eagland
      Posted May 29, 2013 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! The next novel is underway – hopefully it will be out next year.

  14. Katerina
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    .. I have just finished ‘Whisper My Name’- one of the best books I have ever read !! I am simply magnified by spiritualism, Victorian era, The Renaissance and mysteries as a whole. I found the book accidentally when I was on a trip to UK in one old-looking bookstore. I was fascinated by the title of the novel and the cover page and this was the reason not to leave the book in the bookstore. I am interested in almost every kind of writing and I love reading so I spend much of my time searching for new interesting titles.
    I just wanted to greet Jane for the marvellous book and the great pleasure I got from reading it 🙂

    • Jane Eagland
      Posted May 29, 2014 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      Katerina, thank you for taking the time to share your enthusiasm for my book. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  15. Loriell
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 4:19 am | Permalink

    I loved this book! I highly recommend it to all of my friends. Our whole book club was engulfed in the story. Very well written. Thank you for writing stories like these.

    • Jane Eagland
      Posted November 29, 2015 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Loriell. It’s lovely to hear that you enjoyed my book.

One Trackback

  1. By Wildthorn « Winfield Library's Y.A. Blog on November 15, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    […] If you like mysteries, historical fiction, a touch of romance, and want a surprising ending (it was a shock to find out whose treachery sent her to Wildthorn!) give this book a try.  Wildthorn by Jane Eagland is now available at the library.  Also, check out the author’s website. […]