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Skulduggery around Haworth and Keighley

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

AN author is drawing inspiration for his writings from his ancestry. Paul Rushworth-Brown has set his latest novel, Skulduggery, around Haworth and Keighley.

The book – which has been a year in ‘the making’ – follows Thomas Rushworth and his family, shortly after he had lost his father to consumption. Set in 1603, times were tough – and shenanigans and skulduggery were commonplace. Thomas, the older of two boys, has become the man of the house. He is poised to wed Agnes in an arranged marriage, but a true love story develops between them. The novel – which will be available in book stores from April 15 – has already earned acclaim, with one reviewer describing it as “masterful and thoroughly enjoyable”. Paul turned his hand to writing in 2015, when he embarked on a six-month project to produce a family history for his children – Rachael, Christopher and Hayley. The resultant 400-page book traced his family back to Haworth, where his ancestors had been living since 1590.

His great-grandfather was James Rushworth I, a carpenter. He was the first to move away from the area, with his wife and nine children, in the mid 1800s.

“The history of these people is rarely thought of and even less commonly written about because there are few records – as most would have been illiterate,” says Paul. “There is much written about the lords and ladies, but not about the common people. “The research and description of what life may have been like gives my readers the ability to step back in time. “It was important for me to describe in detail the day-to-day hardships and adventures people encountered and not sanitise the story for the modern literary world.

“Most importantly I wanted to use a simplified Yorkshire dialect, which at times is not easy to read but it adds to the realism and tone of the story when one becomes ‘fluent’.” Paul was born in Maidstone, Kent, in 1962.

He emigrated to Canada with his mother as a child and spent his teenage years in Ontario. In 1982 he then emigrated to Australia to spend time with his father, Jimmy Brown, who had moved there from Yorkshire in the mid-fifties.

Paul Rushworth-Brown is the author of three novels


Skulduggery- The bleak Pennine moors of Yorkshire; a beautiful, harsh place, close to the sky, rugged and rough, no boundaries except the horizon, which in places, went on forever. Green pastures and wayward hills, the colours of ochre, brown and pink in the Spring. Green squares divided the land on one side of the lane, and on the other; sheep with thick wool and dark snouts dotted the hills and dales. The story, set on the Moors of West Yorkshire, follows wee Thomas and his family shortly after losing his father to consumption. Times were tough in 1603 and there were shenanigans and skulduggery committed by locals and outsiders alike. Queen Bess has died, and King James sits on the throne of England and Scotland. Thomas Rushworth is now the man of the house being the older of two boys. He is set to wed Agnes in an arranged marriage, but a true love story develops between them.

"A glorious read of a period well versed and presented with accuracy and authentic telling by an author who is as much engrossed in his prose as the reader he shares with...masterful and thoroughly enjoyable...5 stars." Adrian, Indibook reviewer


Winter of Red- Come on this historic journey, which twists, turns and surprises until the very end. If you like history, adventure and intrigue with a dash of spirited love, then you will be engrossed by this tale of a peasant family unexpectedly getting caught up in the ravages of the English Civil War in 1642.

"A fictional, historical novel about a loving peasant family caught up in a 1642 shocking Civil War. Humour, romance, adventure and excitement are here to enjoy. A great story.

"Dream of Courage- Soon to be released!

The much anticipated story of the Rushworth family and their journey out of poverty. King Charles has been executed and England becomes a Republic under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell. Highwaymen, thief-takers, pirates and wool broggers tell the story in this mysterious and bone chilling historical thriller.


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