A former journalist has released her second novel after drawing inspiration from the Warner Textile Archive.

Liz Trenow, who lives in Colchester, wrote her second book, The Forgotten Seamstress, after a visit to the archive in Silks Way, Braintree, where she was researching the history of her family’s weaving business Walter’s and Sons Ltd.

The former Essex County Standard journalist, also author of The Last Telegram, was inspired by the story behind the damasks and brocades that were hand-woven in 1893 by Warner and Sons for the trousseau of Princess May for her wedding to the heir to the British throne, the Duke of Clarence.

When he died six weeks before the wedding it was decided that she should marry his brother, who later became King George V, and the silks were used for this occasion instead.

The new novel, inspired by these silks, tells the story of Maria, an orphan and talented seamstress who, after spending time in the mental asylum of Severalls Hospital, near Colchester, chances upon a piece of rare and valuable royal silk.

Her story is uncovered decades later by contemporary character Caroline, who discovers her own connection to Maria after finding a beautiful patchwork quilt.

A book launch will be held at the Warner Textile Archive on January 30 from 6pm and Mrs Trenow will be speaking and signing copies of the novel.

To book a place, call 01376 557741 or email info@warnertextilearchive.co.uk.