Catherine Cookson Books

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Catherine Cookson officially Dame Catherine Ann Cookson was an English author that went on to break records as the UK’s most widely read novelist. At the height of her popularity, her novel sales topped 100 million copies. Catherine Cookson is best known for writing romance novels and published her first novel in 1950.

Order of Kate Hannigan Series

1Kate Hannigan 1950Description / Buy
2Kate Hannigan's Girl 2000Description / Buy

Order of Mary Ann Shaughnessy Series

1A Grand Man (Short Story) 1954Description / Buy
2The Lord and Mary Ann 1956Description / Buy
3The Devil and Mary Ann 1958Description / Buy
4Love and Mary Ann 1961Description / Buy
5Life and Mary Ann 1962Description / Buy
6Marriage and Mary Ann 1964Description / Buy
7Mary Ann's Angels 1965Description / Buy
8Mary Ann and Bill 1967Description / Buy
9Bill and the Mary Ann Shaughnessy 2011Description / Buy

Order of The Mallen Trilogy Series

1The Mallen Streak 1973Description / Buy
2The Mallen Girl 1973Description / Buy
3The Mallen Litter / The Mallen Lot 1974Description / Buy

Order of The Tiller Trotter Trilogy Series

1Tilly Trotter / Tilly 1980Description / Buy
2Tilly Trotter Wed / Tilly Wed 1981Description / Buy
3Tilly Trotter Widowed / Tilly Alone 1982Description / Buy

Order of The Hamilton Trilogy Series

1Hamilton 1983Description / Buy
2Goodbye Hamilton 1985Description / Buy
3Harold 1985Description / Buy

Order of The Bailey Chronicles Series

1Bill Bailey 1986Description / Buy
2Bill Bailey's Lot 1987Description / Buy
3Bill Baileys Daughter 1989Description / Buy
4The Bondage of Love 1998Description / Buy

Order of Catherine Cookson Standalone Novels

1The Fifteen Streets 1952Description / Buy
2Colour Blind 1953Description / Buy
3Maggie Rowan 1954Description / Buy
4Rooney 1957Description / Buy
5The Menagerie 1958Description / Buy
6Fanny McBride 1959Description / Buy
7Fenwick Houses 1960Description / Buy
8The Garment 1962Description / Buy
9Heritage of Folly (As: Catherine Marchant) 1962Description / Buy
10The Blind Miller 1963Description / Buy
11House of Men (As: Catherine Marchant) 1963Description / Buy
12The House on the Fens / Fen Tiger (As: Catherine Marchant) 1963Description / Buy
13The Wingless Bird 1964Description / Buy
14Hannah Massey 1964Description / Buy
15Evil at Roger's Cross / The Iron Facade 1965Description / Buy
16The Long Corridor 1965Description / Buy
17Matty Doolin 1965Description / Buy
18The Unbaited Trap 1966Description / Buy
19Katie Mulholland's Journey 1967Description / Buy
20Slinky Jane 1967Description / Buy
21Joe & the Gladiator 1968Description / Buy
22The Round Tower 1968Description / Buy
23The Nice Bloke 1969Description / Buy
24The Glass Virgin 1969Description / Buy
25Invitation 1970Description / Buy
26The Nipper (Short Story) 1970Description / Buy
27The Dwelling Place 1971Description / Buy
28Feathers in the Fire 1971Description / Buy
29Pure as the Lily 1972Description / Buy
30Blue Baccy 1973Description / Buy
31Our John Willie 1974Description / Buy
32The Invisible Cord 1975Description / Buy
33Miss Martha Mary Crawford ( As: Catherine Marchant) 1975Description / Buy
34The Gambling Man 1975Description / Buy
35The Tide of Life 1976Description / Buy
36Mrs Flannagan's Trumpet 1976Description / Buy
37The Slow Awakening ( As: Catherine Marchant) 1976Description / Buy
38The Girl 1977Description / Buy
39Go Tell It to Mrs Golightly 1977Description / Buy
40The Cinder Path 1978Description / Buy
41The Man Who Cried 1979Description / Buy
42Lanky Jones 1980Description / Buy
43The Whip 1982Description / Buy
44The Black Velvet Gown 1984Description / Buy
45The Bannaman Legacy / Dinner of Herbs 1985Description / Buy
46The Moth / The Thorman Inheritance 1986Description / Buy
47Parson's Daughter 1987Description / Buy
48Rory's Fortune 1988Description / Buy
49The Harrogate Secret 1988Description / Buy
50The Cultured Handmaiden 1988Description / Buy
51The Black Candle 1989Description / Buy
52The Spaniard's Gift 1989Description / Buy
53The Gillyvors / Daughter of Scandal 1990Description / Buy
54My Beloved Son 1991Description / Buy
55Love Child 1991Description / Buy
56The Rag Nymph 1991Description / Buy
57The House of Women 1992Description / Buy
58The Maltese Angel 1992Description / Buy
59Year of the Virgins 1993Description / Buy
60The Golden Straw 1993Description / Buy
61Justice Is A Woman 1994Description / Buy
62The Tinker's Girl 1994Description / Buy
63The Obsession 1995Description / Buy
64A Ruthless Need 1995Description / Buy
65The Upstart 1996Description / Buy
66The Branded Man 1996Description / Buy
67The Bonny Dawn 1996Description / Buy
68The Desert Crop 1997Description / Buy
69The Lady on My Left / The Mists of Memory 1997Description / Buy
70The Solace of Sin 1998Description / Buy
71Riley 1998Description / Buy
72The Blind Years 1998Description / Buy
73The Thursday Friend 1999Description / Buy
74A House Divided 1999Description / Buy
75Rosie Of The River 2000Description / Buy
76The Silent Lady 2001Description / Buy
77Saint Christopher and the Gravedigger 2017Description / Buy
78The Rag Maid 2017Description / Buy
79The Glassmaker’s Daughter 2018Description / Buy

Order of Catherine Cookson Short Story Collections

1The Simple Soul and Other Stories 2001Description / Buy
2Just a Saying (Short Story) 2002Description / Buy

Order of Catherine Cookson Picture Books

1Nancy Nutall and The Mongrel 1990Description / Buy

Order of Catherine Cookson Non-Fiction Books

1Our Kate 1969Description / Buy
2Catherine Cookson Country 1986Description / Buy
3Let Me Make Myself Plain 1990Description / Buy
4Plainer Still 1995Description / Buy
5My Land of the North 1999Description / Buy
6Kate's Daughter: The Real Catherine Cookson ( With:) 2003Description / Buy
7Before I Go 2017Description / Buy
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Catherine Cookson was born in the town of South Shields in the North East of England on June 11th 1906. She was born an illegitimate child to an alcoholic mother, whom she had believed to be her sister while she was being brought up by her grandparents in County Durham. As was common at the time, Cookson left school at the age of 14, working in several manual labour jobs, and by the time she was in her early 20s, she had moved to Hastings in the south of England to run the laundry at the local workhouse. With her career blossiming, in 1940 she married Tom Cookson, a teacher at a local grammar school. However, their relationship was plagued by woe, as they were unable to conceive, suffering four miscarriages. It was later found out that she suffered from telangiectasia, which causes serious bleeding and anaemia. This caused Cookson’s mental health to degrade, and she eventually had a breakdown following the trauma of her miscarriages.

However, while her breakdown was clearly a low point in her life, Catherine Cookson turned to writing to help her recover. She joined a local writing group, and eventually wrote her first novels, Kate Hannigan, which was published in 1950. Amazingly, Cookson would write a follow up to her first piece of work, which was published after her death in 2001, called Kate Hannigan’s Girl.

Catherine Cookson wrote tales of people and of places and things she knew. And if she didn’t know them, she would research them in great detail. She claimed she did not feel comfortable writing about things she did not know or had not experienced. That is also why a lot of her work was focused on the north east of England and on working class people.

As well as writing under her own name, Catherine Cookson also wrote books under the pen name of Catherine Marchant and also Katie McMullen.

Catherine Cookson was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her services to literature and philanthropy in 1985, and she then became Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire eight years later.

The success of Cookson’s work made them ripe for adaptation for radio, television and also film. In fact, it didn’t take long for one of her books to be adapted into a film, which was the film Jacqueline, which was based on A Grand Man, which was published in 1954. And following the success of Jacqueline, her book Rooney was adapted for film. But although Cookson’s work enjoyed success on film, it was on ITV that she gained her greatest success, with 18 of her books adapted for the small screen from 1990 unrtil 2001. The Fifteen Streets, one of her best-loved books, was the first to be shown on ITV, and it starred Sean Bean in 1990. The Fifteen Streets was nominated for an Emmy, but it was to be the second adaptation, The Black Velvet Gown, which would win the award the following year.

Cookson would continue her writing until her death in 1998, and she had several books awaiting publication, which were continued to be published until 2002. She has left an enduring legacy not only with her literature, but also in her philanthropic work with her donations to charities and foundations close to her heart.

Catherine Cookson published over 100 novels in her life that included standalones, autobiographies, and novel series. Her most popular series included the Mary Ann Stories, the Kate Hannigan series, the Mallen Novels, The Tilly Trotter Trilogy, the Hamilton series, and the Bill Bailey Trilogy. The Mary Ann stories are her most popular series with the 1954 published A Grand Man, the first novel in the series spawning seven more titles. Her novels are generally inspired by the childhood she spent in the North East of England town of Tyneside, which is the setting for most of her novels.


For her literary works, Catherine Cookson was awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire, which was later made into Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Given that she lived and set most of her novels in Tyneside, the University of Newcastle honored her with the Freedom of the Borough of South Tyneside, one of the most prestigious honorary degrees. Cookson was voted Writer of the year by the Variety Club of Great Britain. Her novel Round Tower was the winner of the best regional novel in the 1968 Winifred Holtby Awards.


Catherine Cookson has not only broken literary records with her books but also film records too. She is one of the United Kingdom’s writers with the largest number of books made into film and TV. Some of her novels made into movies include A Grand Man, Rooney, The Letter, Gladiator in Danger, Taggarine Ted, House of Men, The Mallens, Our John Willie, The Fifteen Streets, The Black Velvet Gown, The Black Candle, The Man Who Cried, The Cinder Path, The Dwelling Place, The Glass Virgin, and the Gambling Man among many others.


With over 100 million Catherine Cookson books sold, selecting the best novels among her works can be quite a daunting task. Nonetheless, the following are some of the most popular novels by Cookson.

The Dwelling Place: Published in 1971 is an emotionally charged novel that follows the lives of the Brodies. Set in the 1830’s, it sees Cissie Brodie a fifteen year old become an orphan after her parents die of cholera. She is now homeless and has to take care of her nine younger siblings. Even as she is hopelessly poor, she is possessed of a tenacious spirit and a will to survive, that drives her to make a shelter for the family. Although, it is only a rough stone house, her family finally has a place to call their own. They have family friends that offer them charity from time to time, but it is never enough, particularly in the face of the bitterness of those that hate them and the struggle to make good of a desperate situation.

Tilly Trotter: The debut novel of the Tilly Trotter Trilogy is the enthralling story of a girl who loves a man that is betrothed to another. It is such a great story; it is no surprise that the debut the novel was adapted into a movie. Tilly stands out among her peers, being coltish, tall, and unafraid to work to help her grandparents who have been her guardians since she was a child. She also has an unusual beauty that makes the men lust after her and the women envious of her. However, she only has eyes for Simon Bentwood the farmer, and is heartbroken to learn that he has been promised to another. But things are about to get worse for Tilly as the local women spread rumors of her being a witch, while a rejected suitor plans a terrible revenge. Brought up to soldier on even in the most difficult of situations, she refuses to let the locals break her spirit and believes the experience will only make her stronger.

Silent Lady: The 2002 published novel came out after the author’s death and fast became one of Catherine Cookson’s most popular novels. When a disheveled woman presents herself at the London offices of a respected law firm, the receptionist takes her for a vagrant. Demanding to see the senior partner, the receptionist tries to usher her out, only for the partner to come out after learning of the name of the bizarre visitor. It turns out that Irene Baindor had once been a woman of musical talent and class, wife to a powerful and wealthy man, and mother to a young child. What follows is a story detailing the life of Baindor in a marriage with a cruel husband that eventually led her to disappear without a trace.

Catherine Cookson FAQs

Q: What nationality was Catherine Cookson?

A: The author Catherine Cookson was English. She was born in the town of South Shields.

Q: When did Catherine Cookson die?

A: Catherine Cookson passed away on June 11 1998 at the age of 91, just 16 days from her 92 second birthday, in the suburb of Jesmond in Newcastle-upon-Tyne

When Does The Next Catherine Cookson book come out?

Catherine Cookson doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is The Glassmaker’s Daughter and was released on September, 6th 2018.

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