Now more than halfway through his eighth decade, Clive Woolliscroft is retired and lives in Cheshire with his wife, Sue, and Cocker Spaniel, Bonnie.
Before retiring, Clive served as an Army Officer in Germany, worked as an International Money Market Trader in London, was a Management Consultant in Prague and Riga and practised as a Solicitor in London, Hertfordshire and Staffordshire.
Ever since Clive was commissioned to write a book to demystify the derivative financial products that emerged in the 1980s, his ambition has been to write a novel. That ambition was achieved more than thirty-five years later when Less Dreadful With Every Step was published in May 2023. One False Step is Clive's second novel.
The catalyst for the creation of Less Dreadful With Every Step was a visit made by Clive to his local churchyard searching for dead ancestors in pursuit of his hobby – genealogy – when he noticed a headstone remembering a young man ‘... lost in France in the Great War about 23 March 1918’. Clive researched the young man in question to discover that, whilst he was a native of Jarrow, he never once set foot in Cheshire. The seeds of the book were sown.
One False Step was prompted by an article about Mary Blandy – ‘the fair parricide’ who was hanged for poisoning her father on the 6th of April 1752. Clive felt that Mary's story would form the basis for a novel comprising a reimagining of the events leading to her execution. The seeds of another book were sown.
In August 1914, the lives of two young people seem mapped out in front of them. Frank, happily employed as a bank teller, is to marry his fiancée in the spring. Emily is also to marry around the same time. Both are natives of Jarrow. Their homes are about a ten-minute walk away – but they have never met.
Then, everything changes. Carried along with the jingoistic national celebration that follows the declaration of war, Frank enlists in the army, leaving his family and fiancée behind. Shortly after this, a devastating loss leaves a massive void in Emily’s life. To help fill that void, she volunteers with the Voluntary Aid Detachment.
By the end of summer 1916, both Frank and Emily are serving in France. Their lives intersect twice, once in France and once in Jarrow. After they meet, the destiny for one is tragedy, and for the other, hope.
Before retiring, Clive Woolliscroft worked as an army officer, a money market trader, a management consultant and a solicitor. Less Dreadful With Every Step is his first novel. Its roots lie in a visit made to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of the Somme – a visit that prompted a lifelong interest in the Great War. He lives in Cheshire with his wife, Sue, and cocker spaniel, Bonnie.
William Dunbar, the younger son of a Scottish nobleman, craves wealth, and marriage seems to be his simplest way to achieve it.
His pursuit eventually leads him to Mercy Grundy, an old maid in the eyes of mid-1740s society who fears lifelong spinsterhood. Her father has offered a substantial dowry to the man who will take her hand in marriage.
For William, marriage to Mercy would be a match made in heaven. But for Mercy, who has succumbed to William’s charms, would marrying him necessitate her taking one false step?
Before retiring, Clive Woolliscroft served as an Army Officer in Germany, worked as an International Money Market Trader in London, was a Management Consultant in Prague and Riga and practised as a Solicitor in London, Hertfordshire and Staffordshire. Now more than halfway through his eighth decade, he lives in Cheshire with his wife, Sue, and cocker spaniel, Bonnie. One False Step is his second novel.