Caroline is a travel writer and historical fiction author, based in San Francisco. She grew up in England, spending happy childhood holidays in France where her passion for travel and history began. She writes a much loved travel blog “Shutters and Sunflowers” and is the author of The Sunflower Field.
Before becoming an author Caroline was a history major and teacher. Inspired by her love of history she developed a youth leadership program centered on the teachings of Winston Churchill. Her novel, The Sunflower Field, is based on one of the most significant contributions to WWII and tells one of the most incredible, little known stories of the war. It’s one she discovered when living in Provence where she and her husband now spend part of the year.
I took a new and exciting pathway, one of research, writing, and of incredible serendipitous connections. It’s become my passion, to reveal a significant but forgotten part of history, the story of the Polish cryptologists.
I’m an English girl, living in California in love with Provence! Life is a journey, I was born on a Thursday, clearly with far to go.
Growing up I amassed a collection of notebooks packed with my scribbles, I diligently kept a diary, I loved to write. I studied history in college where my writing took on a purpose. I adored the research and the challenge of composing an essay. Realizing that this is how history is written I often wondered if it had been interpreted correctly, what if something had been missed? So, as a teacher I introduced my students to primary sources: church records, Victorian posters, old railway timetables, I was really into it!
Then marriage and parenthood took me on a different journey and to a life across the pond. I frequently went home to England and often to France but when I returned I always felt as if I’d left a part of me behind, somewhere on a cobbled street where church bells told the time. So, in 2012, our two children in college, my husband and I pursued the dream of living in such a place and we moved to Provence.
Inspired by the beauty of where we were living, initially the beautiful duchy of Uzès and then Lourmarin in the Luberon, I began a travel blog, Shutters and Sunflowers. Through writing about things that truly stirred my soul, my love-affair with writing blossomed. I began to offer travel insights about where we were living in Provence: what to see, where to eat and where to stay. I went on to write about England, California, and anywhere our journey took us, often incorporating my historical discoveries, fascinating stories from the past.
One day, standing outside a château in Uzès, surrounded by fields of sunflowers, I discovered a story far too monumental for my blog. Thus, began a new journey, one of research, writing, and incredible serendipitous connections. Slowly I unraveled the true, but little-known WWII story of the Polish cryptologists who’d cracked the Enigma Code. From this very château they had worked in hiding, putting the enemy’s movements into the Allies’ hands. Heroes that history has largely forgotten. It has become my passion, to reveal their story. A story of extraordinary people, who in extraordinary times did extraordinary things. A story I’ve called The Sunflower Field.