The Escapades of Tribulation Johnson
It’s 1679 and into the tumult, politics and colour of Restoration London and its lively theatre scene comes the fierce and opinionated Tribulation Johnson. Cast out from her family as ungodly and unworthy, Tribulation is determined to forge her own remarkable path.
Arriving in London, Tribulation is astonished to discover that the widowed cousin she’s been sent to live with is none other than the most infamous woman in London: the former spy and traitor’s mistress, the playwright and polemical poetess, Aphra Behn. Tribulation cannot believe her good fortune as she is thrust into city life and the heady, mercurial milieu of the theatre. Under Aphra’s guidance, Tribulation is encouraged to write, think and speak for herself. But women aren’t supposed to have a voice, or ideas, let alone wield a pen and write for a living, and there are harsh consequences for those who don’t obey society’s rules.
Together, Aphra and Tribulation must not only face vilification and mockery but terrible danger as plots to overturn the monarchy gather pace. When someone from Aphra’s complicated past reappears, the women’s loyalties – to King, country, and ultimately each other – are bitterly tested. Can their relationship survive the burning fires of religious hatred, suspicion and deceit?
When everyone plays a part, and all the world’s a stage, who you trust?