Very little is known about Lizzie Burns, the illiterate Irishwoman who was the longtime lover of Frederick Engels, co-author of The Communist Manifesto. In Gavin McCrea's first novel, she is finally given a voice - one that won't easily be forgotten.
In September 1870 a train leaves Manchester bound for London. Onboard is Lizzie Burns, a poor worker from the Irish slums who is embarking on the journey that will change her forever. Sitting in the first-class carriage beside her lover, the wealthy mill owner Frederick Engels, the vision of a life of peace and comfort takes shape before her eyes: finally, at nearly 50, she is to be the lady of a house and the wife to a man. Perhaps now she can put the difficulties of the past behind her and be happy.