The Angel on the Northern Line
by Catherine Curzon
A Decade of Change
I was born in the mid-1970s, when the summer was blazing, Abba held the world in their Swedish thrall and a man fried eggs on the pavement at Oxford Circus. Precisely none of this found its way into The Angel on the Northern Line, in which the snow-shrouded, iron-grey London of the 1950s shelters two of the country’s most celebrated superheroes. I’ve never been one for flares and heat waves, after all; give me the fifties any day.
Christian Winter, one known as Mithras, the man saved countless lives in World War Two with his super-strength, has had enough of heroics and turned his back on celebrity. Now he lives a quiet and anonymous life, teaching Latin to the children of rich men. Solitary, settled and no stranger to tweed, when he closes the door of his Highgate house, all he wants is the radio and a nice cup of tea.
Yet when a runaway tube train threatens the life of hundreds of rush hour commuters, Christian can’t stand by and let disaster strike. Instead he stops the train literally on its tracks, leaving him battered, bruised, and entirely fed up.
Someone has recognized the anonymous hero and as Christian is about to discover, when a sometimes-invisible, sometimes-naked angel shows up in your bathroom and offers to heal your bruises, life can take the most unexpected turns.
The Angel on the Northern Line is a love story, a story of chances missed and taken, of jumping into the unknown on an angel’s wing. From the grimy tunnels of the London underground to the glittering anterooms of Buckingham Palace via a very cozy bedroom, Christian and Freddy, the titular Angel on the Northern Line, are about to discover that they have much more in common than simple super powers.
This book came into being overnight. I won’t say that I dreamed it, but when I woke up in a four poster bed in a 17th century coaching inn somewhere in the North Yorkshire wilds, Christian, Freddy, and their snowy world were ready to tell their story. I’ve always loved the 1950s and although I’m an 18th century historian, if I can situate my fiction in the fifties, I do. It’s a time that I find instantly evocative, a post-war world that is still rebuilding, where former soldiers are still young men, carrying memories that no one should have. It’s these memories that have convinced Christian he’d rather live a quiet life. Losing his lover to the war has shattered him and the last thing he’s expecting is a date with a very important lady and the Scottish angel who steals his heart in one night.
I think of the fifties as the turning point in history, a decade in which the world changed forever. Borders were redrawn, nations rose and fell and the world counted the cost of conflict. It was a time in which the old world and the new struggled to reconcile, when people looked towards an uncertain future in which nothing would ever be the same.
And that’s exactly what Freddy Rose brings into Christian Winter’s ordered home: the promise of a world as yet unknown.
Freddy is as wild as Christian is steady and he’s determined that his life will be anything but quiet. Instead he blazes bright at every opportunity and when the two heroes tumble into Christian’s antique bed as the snow falls outside, Highgate becomes the hottest place in a wintery city.
Catherine Curzon is a royal historian. She is the author of Life in the Georgian Court, Kings of Georgian Britain, and Queens of Georgian Britain (to be released in October 2017).
Her work has been featured on HistoryExtra.com, the official website of BBC History Magazine and in publications such as Explore History, All About History, History of Royals and Jane Austen’s Regency World. She has provided additional research for An Evening with Jane Austen at the V&A and spoken at venues including the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, Lichfield Guildhall, the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich and Dr Johnson’s House.
Catherine holds a Master’s degree in Film and when not dodging the furies of the guillotine, writes fiction set deep in the underbelly of Georgian London. Her novels, The Crown Spire, The Star of Versailles, and The Mistress of Blackstairs, are available now.
She lives in Yorkshire atop a ludicrously steep hill.