Carolyn O’Brien

Carolyn is an historical fiction writer from Manchester. Her writing has a strong sense of the north-west of England and its radical past, from the smoke-filled streets of industrial Manchester to the hidden histories of the Lake District where she also has family ties.

Consistently drawn to the struggle for equality, as illustrated in her first novel, The Song of Peterloo, her work features strong female characters striving to find their place in the world.

Carolyn loved writing stories from an early age and read English at Cambridge University before qualifying as a solicitor. Having worked in land law for over 25 years, she has relished her return to literature and is currently finishing her second novel inspired by Jane Eyre and set in the Lakes and Manchester in the first half of the 19th century.

She continues to live near Manchester with her husband and two children, and regularly enjoys coming up for air in the Lakes.

Carolyn’s Twitter: @carolynmanc
Carolyn’s Instagram: carolynmanc

Carolyn O’Brien is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Lisa Highton. For all enquiries, contact

Books by Carolyn

The Song of Peterloo

Legend Press, August 2019 Manchester 1819: Prices are high and wages are low, but as the poor become poorer, the rich are alarmed by their calls for reform. Mill-worker Nancy Kay struggles to support her ailing mother and sensitive son. Desperate to provide for them, she is inspired to join the growing agitation. But, as she risks everything to attend a great assembly on St Peter’s Field, Nancy is unaware the day will go down in history, not as a triumph but as tragedy; the Peterloo massacre. This is one woman’s story of belief in change, pieced together by her family and friends and the two men who share her momentous summer. Praise for The Song of Peterloo ‘A vivid, moving and beautifully written story’ –Emma Darwin