Aug 22 2013 by Rebecca Koncienzcy, Skelmersdale Advertiser
Sklmersdale mum-of-four writes historical novel about Margaret Dickson
A SKELMERSDALE mum-of- four has penned a historical novel based on the life of the promiscuous Margaret Dickson.
Alison J Butler wrote her first book about the controversial figure after years of research to try and uncover the mystery surrounding her hanging for infanticide and her miraculous escape from the clutches of death.
Alison said that her story struck a chord with her because she was fascinated with the stories of poor people from our historical past.
The 42-year-old said: “I think that there has been a lot written and tends to be a lot of focus about the aristocracy of the past.
“I prefer to champion the poor and I think that Margaret Dickson wasn’t given a chance because she was poor.”
According to the story, Margaret Dickson was a highly spirited woman who enjoyed life. It is believed that she gave birth to child she had conceived with a man other than her husband and concealed the pregnancy so that she could keep her job.
The baby was thought to have been stillborn but Margaret was accused of killing the child, found guilty at trial with little evidence and hung in 1724 in front of crowds of people in Newcastle.
Alison, who has lived in Skelmersdale since the age of 10, said: “When I read about her and read that she had survived the hanging, I was so intrigued that I began to research about her.”
Legend has it that Dickinson woke in her coffin and went on to live for a further 25 years after a full pardon for her crime.
Alison, a self-taught writer, said: “I went to the national archives and they offered for me to open the not guilty verdict which still has its seal – I said that if it had been closed this long I couldn’t open it.”
Alison was contacted by a Harper Collins publisher in 2011 and The Hanging of Margaret Dickson was published earlier this year.
“It was amazing to see my book published. I have always loved writing and I will be starting on my second novel soon.”
Alison’s book has been gaining high praise on the Amazon website where you can order a copy.